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The More Victoria Changes, the More It Stays the Same...

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#421 aastra

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 03:58 PM

Housing crisis, rental shortage... these "dog bites man" stories have been running non-stop since the late 1940s. For how many minutes in total has the rental situation in Victoria not been the worst in Canada?



Daily Colonist
February 15, 1980

Realtors feel condo pinch

Condominiums priced from $25,000 to $125,000 are selling fast in Greater Victoria.

...the condo market shows signs of shrugging off a slump it has been in the grips of since late 1975.

The shortage of stock is acute, particularly in single family dwellings, but condominiums are also feeling the pinch.

There is also a strong demand from outside Victoria for condominiums... some realtors reported more external inquiries than they had ever handled before.

One agent said many buyers were two to three years off retirement and were keen to rent out the condo until they came to Victoria to live.

The market shortage comes at a time when rental vacancies in Victoria are the lowest in Canada.

The concern in Victoria over the lack of rental accommodation is acute.

In 1976, when things were humming along merrily, Victoria approved permits for 909 condominiums and 863 rental units.

In 1979 only 166 condominiums were approved and a surprisingly low 23 rental units.

The problem remains. The shortage of rental accommodation is so acute in the city that apartments can be occupied at a far greater rate than they are being built.

Jorgensen blamed the drying up of various federal and provincial schemes which gave incentives for rental accommodation construction.

#422 aastra

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 11:50 AM

It makes me wonder, has Victoria ever produced a homegrown issue? Everything comes from somewhere else.



Daily Colonist
March 15, 1960

Crime Flurry May Indicate Vancouver Gangs Moving In

City Police Officials Concerned

More Drug Addicts Spotted in Victoria

Vancouver gangs may be moving into Victoria.

Growing unofficial speculation to this effect followed a weekend made hectic for city police by a bullet-pocked chase through downtown streets, a jewelry store break-in, one safe-blowing, two attempts on other safes, and a house robbery.

Some weeks ago police officials of Greater Victoria commented on an increasing number of drug addicts from Vancouver spotted in this area.


Since addiction and crime go hand-in-hand in an endless drive for funds to "feed the habit," it has been stated -- again unofficially -- that there might be a connection between the influx from the mainland and a recent upsurge in break-ins and safe jobs.

Believed significant is the fact that in almost every raid cash alone has been taken.

Two men appeared in city police court yesterday as a result of Saturday night's hectic chase.

At least three of a dozen shots fired by police Saturday night at a fleeing station wagon as they chased it along Fort to Wharf to Humboldt to Vancouver found their mark. One pierced the car just below the tailgate; a second went through the tailgate; and a third shattered the rear window, stabbing through an empty carton in the rear of the station wagon.

Reports of complaints over the shooting were heard in Victoria yesterday, but Chief Const. John Blackstock said no official complaints had come to his attention.


Proof that more than one gang is operating in this area was offered by other criminal raids during the weekend.

A house robbery similar in pattern to a number that have plagued them since January was reported to Oak Bay police Sunday at 11:45pm.


Sunday at 8:30a.m. city police were advised of a break-in at McGavin's Bakery, 2120 Quadra.

The dial had been knocked off the safe, and a charge laid in the opening, all ready to discharge, when apparently the thieves were frightened away. Prepared charge and a number of tools were found in the office by detectives.

An unstated amount of money was taken Sunday night by thieves who blasted their way through a tile wall into a vault at Island Building Supply Co., 575 Gorge Road, after failing to open the vault door.


It was said the explosive used was the same as was used at the bakery.

Detectives back-tracking on Saturday night's chase found an attempt had been made to enter the safe at People's Credit Jewellers.


Police Gunplay: More Praise Than Blame

City police were getting more praise than blame yesterday for shooting at a fleeing car as they chased it through city streets Saturday night.

Mayor Percy Scurrah, chairman of the city police commission, stood up for police shooting when necessary and safe, as he maintained it was during Saturday night's chase.

"They don't fire indiscriminately. I'm quite satisfied they won't fire if there's a danger of hitting a citizen. But when it's safe to fire, is there any reason why they shouldn't?"


"It was safe: the proof of it is that nobody was hurt."

"I think our police are very aware of their responsibility to the public, and their duty to get these criminals..."

Mrs. Emily Kroening, 2887 Inez, took an entirely opposite view. The windshield of her car, parked on Fort Street Saturday night, was shattered by a flying bullet.


"I can't think of what the police were thinking of," she said. "They must have gone completely overboard. Supposing we had been in the car with our children. You expect to be safe in a main Victoria street."

"And who is going to pay for the damage?" she asked. "My insurance company says that flying bullets are nothing to do with them."

"I think the police were quite justified," said R. H. Pitzer, part-owner of the Avon Court apartments. "We can't have these gangs in Victoria and I back the police up..."

R. H. Brown, 435 Vancouver, took a similar line: "I trust the police and I think they showed good judgement in the matter."

Eye witness of the crash at the end of the chase and subsequent escape of four of the suspects was Gordon Young, 428 Vancouver, who said: "I can't say that I saw any indiscriminate firing after the car crashed... There were several bullets in the station wagon though and the shooting on the way here must have been a definite danger to pedestrians."


A resident of the apartment block into which the fleeing car crashed, A. V. Waite, Weston Lodge apartments, maintained the police were right in the shooting. "These men had to be stopped somehow,"


A different note was voiced by John T. Stewart, 976 Humboldt, where the police car rammed the fleeing car.

"I think the police were trigger happy," he said. "What would have happened to an innocent pedestrian if he got in the way of a ricochet? Who would have looked after his family? This seemed more like New York than Victoria."

Edited by aastra, 12 August 2020 - 11:55 AM.

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#423 aastra

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 11:54 AM

What do we think? Do organized safe-cracking jobs involving multiple participants suggest addiction-related crime, or something else?

#424 todd


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Posted 13 August 2020 - 09:31 AM

^Do you have a sighting to report?

I can see them I’m not sure if everyone can.

#425 Rob Randall

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:00 PM

If there was a chart (someone please make one) detailing Victoria safe-cracking crimes over the last century I suspect there would be a sharp decrease. No-one seems interested in safes any more and I don't know whether it's the improved quality of safes, or a lack of training and ambition amongst local cat-burglars. Who wants to invest all that effort into cracking a safe that only contains last week's payroll receipts?

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail

#426 aastra

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:10 PM

I'm certainly no expert but I thought knowing the contents of the target was one of the prerequisites of any safe-cracking job?

#427 aastra

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:12 PM

The strategy of going door-to-door seems like it would fail to pay off more times than not.

#428 Rob Randall

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:21 PM

I smell a potential A+ university criminal justice thesis.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail

#429 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:36 PM

in 1960 the witnesses’ addresses are published in the paper.

in 2020 the press will not even name the business hit even when they know it for fear of being knocked off the police press release fax list.
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#430 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 10:53 AM

The authorities can never make up their minds: is "overhousing" good or bad? They wiped out the Blanshard-Rose neighbourhood because there were way too many people packed into all those old houses. But in the 21st century they say having too few people per residence is a problem. And yet these are the same authorities who (still) resist density and more efficient land use! What exactly do they want? Crowded living conditions but low overall densities? That would be terrible.


I'd say Victoria has been staring its own successful formula in the face for quite a while: a decent amount of density per square mile, but conditions in dwellings themselves are not crowded. Just keep on doing it.



Daily Colonist
December 23, 1975


Victoria least crowded

...Canadian homes are less crowded than at any time in recent years, says the Economic Council of Canada.

And Victoria is least crowded of all major cities, said the report, though figures were unavailable.

Crowding -- the number of persons per room -- declined between 1971 and 1974.

#431 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 12:18 PM

Methinks Victoria's official seal should show a buck being passed around, and include the Latin for "you didn't experience what you thought you experienced"

Something like:
non credo, tua experientia


Note the longstanding contradiction between the authorities who claim crime is mostly imaginary, and weary citizens who admit they don't bother involving the police even for fairly serious things. If crime occurs and frustrated victims/witnesses don't bother to report it, did the crime actually happen? (if a tree falls in the forest...)


I'd suggest the notions about supposed "zones" have also not been productive. The whirlwind is being reaped today.



Jan 28, 2015

Social problems, not crime, top concerns


While cases of open drug-dealing near her Johnson Street store have dropped significantly in the last five years, Rosebud Seads still ranks drugs as the top issue affecting her business...

Bob Louie, who owns several commercial properties on Government Street, including the building that houses Murchie's, said panhandling and homelessness have pushed patrons away from downtown and to the big box stores in Uptown Centre.

Their experiences back up the findings of a Victoria police survey: business owners' biggest concerns are social issues, rather than crime.

Homelessness was a major concern for 75 per cent of the 136 business owners surveyed, followed by drugs and panhandling (71 per cent), mental health (52 per cent), break-and-enters (32 per cent) and loitering (29 per cent).

...Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner pointed out that only two of the concerns -- drugs and break-ins -- are crimes. The rest "are not criminal offences," he said. "Those are not something we can put a law-enforcement lens on."

He said police officers need to work closely with social agencies to ensure there's a partnership in dealing with social disorder in a way that helps those who are marginalized as well as business owners.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said she shares many of Elsner's concerns. She suggested a task force on policing and mental health could help...

"It's got to be Island Health, the police, the municipality and others coming to the table," Helps said. "I think we definitely need to make sure that police aren't continually the first responders for people who are experiencing mental illnesses and addictions, because it's not good for the police, it's not good for the taxpayer, and it's not good for the people who have those challenges."

More than half of the survey respondents felt that crime had either decreased or stayed the same, which is in line with local and national trends that crime is steadily decreasing. At the same time, 62 per cent said they had been the victim of a crime in the past five years. Elsner said that doesn't reflect Victoria police's crime statistics and suggested some people might have the perception they have been victimized after a scary encounter.





July 21, 2013


Downtown seen as safe, but less exciting: survey

Downtown Victoria is seen as being safer at night but perhaps not as exciting as it was three years ago, according to a recent Ipsos Reid survey.

Sixty-four per cent of citizens surveyed by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the city agreed that the downtown core is safe at night, compared with 58 per cent in 2010, when the last survey was conducted.

But only 60 per cent of residents polled said the downtown is vibrant and exciting in the evening, down from 64 per cent in 2010.

While the majority of people living in Victoria feel safe and welcome in their neighbourhoods, about 18 per cent of those surveyed reported not feeling safe walking alone in their neighbourhood in the evening...

Ipsos Reid said citizens' ratings of their quality of life is encouraging. A vast majority of respondents (97 per cent) believed the quality of life is good or very good.

When asked how the quality of life has changed over the past three years, two-thirds said it has stayed about the same. A sizable minority (20 per cent) said their quality of life may have deteriorated slightly, while 12 per cent said it may have improved.

And some feel they are not being listened to. Sixty per cent of those surveyed said the city welcomes citizens in decision-making (down from 73 per cent in 2010) and 55 per cent said the city listens to citizens (down from 69 per cent in 2010).

By comparison, 48 per cent of businesses said the city listens to businesses.

"Businesses tend to be slightly more critical than citizens in a number of different areas, including perceptions of downtown Victoria and city operations, overall satisfaction with municipal services and value for municipal tax dollars," the report says. Residents and businesses are generally aligned in terms of what they see as important municipal issues, with social and transportation-related issues identified as the top concerns for both groups.

However, residents prefer tax increases over service cuts, while businesses prefer service cuts rather than tax increases.

The key social issue identified was homelessness, followed by affordable housing.





Victoria News
Jan 15, 2011


Victoria residents a happy lot

Living in Victoria should make you happy. At least, it should, according a new poll commissioned by the city.

Results of the 2010 citizen survey boasts 97 per cent of residents surveyed feel their quality of life is good or very good - and most welcomed tax increases.

The results, by pollster Ipsos Reid, were presented to Victoria city council this week...

Citizens are almost as satisfied with their city services as with life in general. Ninety-two per cent are very or somewhat satisfied with the level and quality of city services.

What's more, a healthy majority of citizens are willing to pay more to either maintain or enhance these services.

While province wide, 55 per cent of respondents to the survey favoured a tax increase, in Victoria the percentage is 64 per cent. A slightly bigger proportion also said they'd like to see the city take a more active role in addressing social issues.

The finding raised concerns with city councillors.

Increased taxes are fine for families with some financial leeway, but Victoria is the poorest jurisdiction in the region, said Coun. Lynn Hunter.

She speculated that most people pinpointed the city as the body most effective in addressing social issues because they consider the provincial and federal governments as abandoning their responsibilities in this area.

(Coun. Philippe) Lucas said he's glad to see the call to address social issues, because police alone can't address this type of crime.

Safety in the downtown marked a notable exception to the general optimism of the survey.

Forty-two per cent of citizens and 61 per cent of business managers disagreed that the downtown is safe at night.

Businesses in general showed less favourable response to satisfaction questions than residents.

Seventy-three per cent strongly or somewhat agree with city rules and regulations. Seven per cent of businesses plan to close or shut down in the next five years. Another seven per cent plan to downsize, and eight per cent plan to relocate outside Victoria.





March 14, 2008

Victoria is also ranked with the top 10 per cent of American cities for break-and-enter rates.

Victoria police spokesman Sgt. Grant Hamilton estimates the city is hit with about 30 property crimes a day -- 10,000 are investigated a year.

"Everyone's had their car broken into, myself included," Hamilton said.

Benedikt Fischer, a criminologist at the University of Victoria, who also studies addiction and mental health, warns people should take the statistics with a grain of salt, noting great discrepancies in the number of crimes reported in Canadian cities -- for example, a sheltered Victorian might be more likely than a street-savvy Torontonian to report a minor property crime.

  (aastra says: I'm not sure there's much logic behind the premise that Victorians aren't particularly street-savvy about... Victoria.)

However, Victoria's crime rate has a much dirtier little secret than rampant drug use, Fischer said. Victoria's growing income gap between rich and poor is another huge problem.

"Even though Victoria might seem nice and quaint," Fischer said, research shows discrepancies in income produce high levels of crime.

"Even though Victoria has a lot of people who are well off and established, and not your typical criminal population, there is a marginalized and disenfranchised population -- a substantial one proportionally -- and that together with a quite sizable drug user and mental health problem population ... obviously generates a lot of property crime," Fischer said.

  (aastra summarizes: the criminal victimization you're experiencing isn't as real as you think it is. You're exaggerating it in your mind. However, the crime itself is VERY real, if you frame it in a way that's palatable to contemporary academic political delusions. So the crime is both real and not real at the same time, depending on your politics.)





May 26, 2003


Red Zone cools off, most feel safe in core

 A few months ago crime in the Red Zone -- a one-kilometre-square section downtown traditionally known for drug deals and prostitution -- raised anxiety levels in the capital region.

Now, according to a Times Colonist/CH poll, 71 per cent of Greater Victoria residents say they feel safe in the downtown core.

The poll asked residents if they have avoided travelling downtown in the past 12 months out of concern for their personal safety. Only 21 per cent of respondents said "yes."

"I'm not surprised. I think most people would agree that Victoria is by and large a safe place," said Victoria Police Sgt. Charles Bates.

Although it has been an issue for decades, in the past year the Red Zone has come under renewed focus as merchants voiced frustrations about a list of complaints from prostitution to open- air injection sites.

In recent months there have been wide-ranging efforts among police, health, business and government to seek solutions to the problems.

Victoria's new drug task force, for example, has cracked down on drug dealing with numerous arrests.

"There has been a much more visible presence of the police," said Bates. "There's been a lot more police out looking for traffickers, looking for people selling drugs."

Still, Bates urged people to be aware of the risks downtown and to be careful where they park their cars.





February 9, 2003


Give our regards to Broad Street Series: The Red Zone

As Stuart Clarke touted the benefits of street revitalization, a greasy-haired young man with khaki pants and a weathered overcoat bolted from his store with $1,000 in merchandise. Clarke had been talking about how improvements to Broad Street had chased away some of the street people from around Robinson's Outdoor Store and neighbouring shops.

Yes, the odd junkie still goes in behind the parking lot across the street to shoot up and there is an old man who regularly sleeps on the sidewalk.

But there is a lot less of that now the sidewalks and street have received a facelift and building owners have spruced up their properties.

Broad Street... cost $2 million to refurbish.

The sidewalks, crosswalks and diagonal parking spaces are done in brick, with other designs in the street concrete.

The city and owners split the cost, with merchants paying their share amortized over 25 years.

Broad Street is only one illustration of the conflict between the desire to revitalize the downtown, particularly the north, and the concern over the area's street issues.

The police and city officials acknowledge problems with addiction and homelessness and have developed a downtown action plan that also involves health officials.

Most say Victoria has one of the safest downtowns in North America. Others say the street population problems are chasing away tourists and shoppers.

Still others suggest it is all about perception.

Clarke and some of his staff easily caught up with the thief, recovering four expensive waterproof jackets. However, they had no interest in holding him for police.

Apart from their major concern being getting the jackets back, they feared that the man could have been violent, perhaps even pulling a dirty needle on them.

And, they said, no one wants to miss a day's work to sit in court only to have the thief get a slap on the wrist.

It is not uncommon to see police cars, a paddy wagon and several bike cops descend on a downtown street corner for a bust. At a recent Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce meeting on reclaiming the downtown, statistics were presented that suggested there are 70 homeless but as many as 2,000 on the fringes of homelessness.

Many merchants are outraged that attempts to attract new life and investment to the downtown with tax incentives and other lures are hampered by social problems.

The University of Waterloo is completing a study of the success of downtowns in small and medium-sized cities.

The study had several components involving a poll of 250 professional planners...


They were asked to list successful downtowns in their region...

To be considered successful, a city had to be named by at least 20 per cent of respondents. Victoria was named by more than 42 per cent, fifth highest in the successful category.

Halifax and Kingston, the other two Canadian cities that made the successful list, came out ahead of Victoria. Asheville, North Carolina, topped the poll at 52 per cent.

The top factors included having an active retail sector, being pedestrian oriented and being culturally active with solid concentrations of employment.

Other factors considered included parking, green space and residential development. Respondents' comments suggested a positive impact was having a university, hospital and government offices nearby.

Social issues were not a major factor, he said. Respondents made no mention of them in polling in their region or across North America -- except those from Victoria.

"It was only in Victoria the issue of drugs and street people came up,"

And that, say some local observers, is because the city has a perception of itself very different from that of outsiders.

"I think Victorians are very skeptical people," said city planner Doug Koch, who is responsible for downtown.

"They are very hard on themselves but I think that is part of the success because they are critical of themselves and others in order to make improvements."

But he pointed out that the city is taking a compassionate approach to cleaning up the downtown by only cracking down on the drug dealers while offering help to the addicts.

Filion said it may be that police in some U.S. cities simply chase their so-called undesirables out of the downtown core away from view of tourists and local shoppers.

(Third in a series on the "Red Zone," the term used by courts and police for the most troubled parts of Victoria's downtown)





The Vancouver Sun
November 28, 1991


Beggars, teens scare shoppers from core

Profane street kids and persistent panhandlers are driving Victoria shoppers away from the downtown area and into suburban malls.

That's the finding of a recent survey of 699 Victoria-area shoppers commissioned by the Victoria Business Improvement Association...

...the survey showed only a third of respondents regularly shop downtown. More than half said they shop at one of Victoria's three out- lying malls - Hillside, Mayfair and Tillicum.

Respondents criticized downtown Victoria for lacking the cleanliness, convenience and free parking of the malls. They also expressed concern for their personal safety in the city core.

Eighty-eight per cent of respondents said increased police presence should be part of any downtown revitalization efforts.

Despite consumer fears, both LeGros and Victoria police Insp. Brian Hayes said few crimes are actually committed against shoppers walking on streets.

But knots of lippy teenagers, rambunctious skateboarders, tenacious beggars and occasional day-shift prostitutes create an unsettling image - especially for seniors

"Some groups of young people pose a perceived threat to older shoppers. They often block sidewalks and shout obscenities."

Occasionally pedestrians are knocked down by "unapologetic" skateboarders...




Daily Colonist
March 30, 1960

City Crime "Normal"

Chief Tells Mayor

Under Control Once More

Crime situation in Victoria is back to normal, Police Chief John Blackstock yesterday assured Mayor Percy Scurrah.

"Do you think you've got it under control?" the mayor asked at a police commmission meeting. Chief Blackstock nodded and informed him that all but one of recent break-ins have been solved.

But the police commission didn't think much of storekeepers' part in discouraging burglary.

Storekeepers Criticized

The police chief's report showed 113 premises found insecure in February, and Mayor Scurrah noted, "In spite of the number of break-ins, the number of insecure premises is increasing. How do you impress upon people the need..."

"It's got me beat," said the chief.

"We'll have to have a bylaw with a penalty for leaving premises unlocked," suggested Commissioner Chester Dowman. Commissioner William Hamilton opposed adding to the number of city bylaws, but thought owners should be assessed the cost "of the policement tied up" by insecure premises.

Edited by aastra, 18 August 2020 - 08:42 AM.

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#432 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 12:48 PM

I sure don't agree with all of the points that people were making back in the day, but it should be obvious that the commentators who predicted a worsening situation were much closer to the truth than the people who predicted the imminent elimination of homelessness and other street issues.


In particular, the downplaying and de-stigmatizing of maliciously exploitative activities like shoplifting, bike theft, car break-ins, vandalism, and minor assaults has been a huge mistake. De-criminalizing is one thing, but de-stigmatizing is something else. Fostering an atmosphere of disrespectful chaos doesn't help anyone or anything.



December 5, 1998


Victoria takes slack line on street people

Rob Teir is president of the Center for Livable Cities in Washington, D.C.

The problem of people living, hanging out, and soliciting money on the streets has grown in Victoria, as it has in cities throughout Canada.

...Victoria has a grossly disproportionate number of people spending their days on the street, often begging but mostly simply sitting or lying on sidewalks, doing nothing with their day, or their lives.

Victoria's response has been stunningly ineffectual, at least so far...

The mistakes being made in this beautiful city range from those of attitude to those of approach. The good news is that it is not too late to change both. At the same time, the likely result of continuing indifference will be an increase in the street population, and the accompanying forms of street disorder and urban deterioration.

The first mistake is the one that is already in the process of reversal. It is the belief that the people on the street are not a real problem...

People sitting or lying on the street interfere with pedestrian traffic, and frequently make dangerous obstacles for those confined to a wheelchair, the elderly, and the blind...

...a visible presence of street people is bad for the commercial and residential vitality of an area. Street people deter customers, leave visitors with a negative impression, and make people feel intimidated about entering an area.

...remaining on the street is hardly good for the people doing it. If they are on the street due to addiction, staying on the street means doing nothing while the addiction remains intact.

The second mistake is the assumption... that there is a "right" to be on the street. Public spaces are not an invitation to do whatever one pleases. Many public spaces, like private ones, often have specific purposes. A sidewalk's purpose is to facilitate pedestrian traffic and enhance the commercial or residential environment of the area. People on the street interfere with both, and their use of sidewalks as all-day sitting rooms is inconsistent with the reason why tax money was used to build them.

The third mistake is the conclusion that it is unfair to do something...

Prohibitions or restrictions on sidewalk sitting are hardly the beginning of an authoritarian state. The grip of fascism does not lie behind a prohibition of lying on major highways -- and nor would it lie behind a prohibition of camping on busy sidewalks. Canadian cities can remain diverse, tolerant and progressive, and still have rules of conduct for their public spaces.

The fourth mistake is assuming that, just because someone is on the sidewalk all day, they are homeless. Some are homeless, some are not. Many have viable options, but have chosen to be on the street...

If the community chooses to allow sidewalk sitting to continue... it enables these decisions, while making it more difficult to live, work, shop, or play in the area.

The attitudinal mistakes led to a policy error: the decision to treat both loitering on sidewalks and panhandling with kid gloves. The panhandling problem in Victoria, for instance, did not even warrant a formal prohibition, just a "Code of Conduct" asking beggars to please behave more civilly.

...by treating the activity as special and worthy of an intentionally light touch, the city is likely to become a magnet for those inclined to spend their time asking others for money.

Neither Victoria nor any other city takes such a permissive approach with other forms of street-level disorder. The city does not, for instance, merely ask someone not to litter, or merely say "please obey the speed limit." Rather, it prohibits that kind of conduct, and imposes sanctions which deter it.

The same should be done with lying or sitting on the sidewalk. Such a prohibition encourages people to pursue other options, including getting the help they need.

The result will be an increased standard of public conduct, more people seeking help, and more vibrant and safe urban areas. Not doing so means continuing the sidewalk obstacle courses, and the slow deterioration of downtown.


#433 Nparker

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 01:05 PM

...In particular, the downplaying and de-stigmatizing of maliciously exploitative activities like shoplifting, bike theft, car break-ins, vandalism, and minor assaults has been a huge mistake. De-criminalizing is one thing, but de-stigmatizing is something else. Fostering an atmosphere of disrespectful chaos doesn't help anyone or anything...

Not unlike the way increased stigmatizing of smoking reduces tobacco consumption while de-stigmatizing illicit drugs is meant to decrease usage. I've never been able to understand this dichotomy.

#434 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 01:23 PM

Like I say, instead of always talking about innovation, why not dare to try something truly innovative? Restore the age-old stigmas on blatantly disrespectful conduct, on the trashing of the public realm, and on the hijacking of public spaces against their intended use or purpose. Regardless of how we feel about camping in parks, there's no necessary reason why camping in a park should also involve destructive vandalism to that same park. There's no necessary reason why camping in a park should also exclude other people from enjoying that same park as a park.

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#435 aastra

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 01:25 PM


There's no necessary reason...


In reality, I mean. Obviously there are plenty of reasons re: politics, program funding, larger social programming agendas...

#436 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 12:35 PM

(copied from another thread)


In the year 2020, Victorians decide it's time the city had some public outdoor pools:



Daily Colonist
January 19, 1960

Heated Dallas Pool Out of Dream Stage

A heated salt-water swimming pool on the Beacon Hill waterfront below Dallas Road will become something more of a project and less of a dream when city council public works committee meets today.

A report on possibilities of building such a pool will be presented by City Engineer James Garnett, who has been working on it at the request of public works chairman Ald. Geoffrey Edgelow.

The engineer has studied the practicability of enclosing and warming the waters of Horseshoe Bay, but Ald. Edgelow said yesterday he believes the alternative of building a pool between Dallas and the edge of the cliff will be found preferable.

Ald. Edgelow's proposal is that the Capital Improvement District Commission should be asked to build the pool, as part of its program of waterfront improvement and beautification.





Daily Colonist
July 24, 1952

Care Keeps Park Wading Pools Pure

Two wading pools -- at Central and Beacon Hill Parks -- are under constant supervision by the city's sanitary inspectors.

Water Changed
In addition, regulations require that the water be changed every other day and the pool scrubbed down at the same time.

Chief sanitary inspector Elwood Gropp said yesterday the city's parks department was "very conscientious" in seeing that the purity standards are maintained at all times.

The inspectors also take regular samples for bacteriological analysis.

For obvious reasons it is impossible to chlorinate sea water at the beaches around Victoria...

Mr. Gropp said the wading pools require a greater percentage of chlorine because they are used exclusively by small children and are located outdoors.

Many people did not realize, said Mr. Gropp, that rigid sanitary precautions were taken to ensure purity in the wading pools.





Daily Colonist
September 29, 1931

Committee Adopts Plans of City Beautification

Sea Wall to Cook Street:
Investigate salt water swimming pool in Horseshoe Bay by means of retaining wall between points, and provide zig-zag path to beach and leading to bathing pool.

Ross Bay:
Construct swimming pool at Little Ross Bay at foot of St. Charles Street.

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#437 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 12:54 PM

More from the Crystal Pool file. Note the references to what other municipalities were doing for less cost, the complaints about inadequate recreational space (the 21st-century aquatic centre was supposed to have a ton of dry-floor space, as we all know) and also note how the "concept" ended up being the final result (pic of model shown with article):



Daily Colonist
July 12, 1969

Swimming Pool Hits Early Snags

Price Jolts Some Aldermen

Ald. Thomas Christie said Friday he considered $1,600,000 an outrageous price for a new Victoria swimming pool.

"It is described as a recreation centre, but so far as I can see, it is no more or less than a large swimming pool."

"They managed to build a pool in Colwood for $250,000, and they are planning one or more in Saanich for $450,000. How does it happen that Victoria taxpayers would be racked for $1,600,000? I just won't buy that sort of thing," the alderman added.

Preparation of plans for a new pool followed a council decision of more than a year ago to "phase out" the Crystal Garden and replace it with a new facility somewhere in the Central Park area.

The proposal envisaged a public building taking up the northwest quarter of Central Park. It would house a large central pool in the shape of a T with the longitudinal section 50 metres (160 feet) in length and the crossbar 25 metres.

On a different level inside the building would be a children's wading pool and a familiarization pool.

There would be diving wells and boards at the end of the 25-metre pool, and spectator space for 900.

Mr. Di Castri said Friday the building would be of giant brick and stucco and would be naturally lighted through three transparent plastic domes in the roof. These would be 65, 50, and 25 feet in diameter.

Ald. Christie said the concept was wonderful but too elaborate for a time when council had just been given a clear indication of how the electorate felt about major expenditures.

He referred to the fact that the $8,588,000 capital budget borrowing referendum went down to overwhelming defeat at the polls...

Ald. Christie also said he believed that the new aquatic complex did not replace the Crystal Garden as it was supposed to do.

The Crystal had ballrooms and recreation areas. It was even possible to hold a small convention there.

"So far as I can see, this... is nothing but a swimming pool."

Ald. Robert Baird was equally dubious about the price.

"You're going to have a great struggle to convince the ratepayers on this one. How can they be expected to approve of a situation like this when they have clearly indicated their feelings by turning down an $8,500,000 referendum?"

Robert Hutchinson, a member of the recreation committee, said...

"Either the city needs the pool or it doesn't. There's no use hacking away at this concept which, granted, is so big that only the city could handle it. However, if it's too rich for our blood, okay," he observed.

Another possible source of conflict is the financing of the swimming pool project.

It has been the intention to use $1,250,000 from the estate of the late T.S. McPherson for the project, but... there were very tight restrictions on the use of the money, and it had not been positively determined if it could be used for a swimming pool.

Edited by aastra, 16 August 2020 - 12:55 PM.

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#438 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 12:57 PM

Ald. Thomas Christie said Friday he considered $1,600,000 an outrageous price for a new Victoria swimming pool.

"It is described as a recreation centre, but so far as I can see, it is no more or less than a large swimming pool."






that's only $11.1m in today's dollars.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 16 August 2020 - 12:57 PM.

#439 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 02:36 PM

Just another organic situation. Nothing contrived or staged about it:



Daily Colonist
March 13, 1968

Store Hippies Ordered To Behave

Hippies have been ordered to behave like mature adults if they persist in using a downtown department store as a haven, or suffer the legal consequences.

The ultimatum was made at a meeting Tuesday by the management of The Bay.

Personnel and operations manager John Jellison and other store officials met for two hours with four hippie leaders to settle the long-brewing storm.

The problem arose from the long-haired set, some in weird costumes, congregating in The Bay's basement restaurant, the Olympic Room.

The rules which will be put in writing and posted throughout the store, call for:

-Lying on table tops, and feet on tables, are out.
-Obscene language must stop immediately.
-Everybody who occupies a table must make a purchase, and no more than four persons may sit at a large table.
-"Mature, adult conduct" is called for.
-The hippies must use discretion in the length of time they take in the restaurant.

"We're not out to build up a crusade against hippies," Mr. Jellison said. "We just want to make our place a clean place."

"They now know that we are prepared to bring in the police and later take the case to court" if the rules are not followed.

He said the store had been plagued by the hippies milling about and lingering by the hour. They annoyed customers.

A major confrontation occurred last Saturday when about 50 of the set were invited to leave the restaurant.

But they trooped up to the fourth floor and staged a sit-in alongside the executive offices.

Their complaint was "discrimination."

Edited by aastra, 16 August 2020 - 02:38 PM.

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#440 aastra

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Posted 19 August 2020 - 07:55 AM

More from sleepy & staid old Victoria. Urban hang gliders will continue to be a major attraction... in 1979!



Daily Colonist
June 20, 1979

Glider pilots win case

Hang gliders soaring high above the Dallas Road cliffs will continue to be one of Victoria's major waterfront attractions.

Despite objections from the police, Victoria's parks committee decided Tuesday to continue allowing hang gliders to use the cliffs as a takeoff point.

Police had asked the committee to stop hang gliders from practicing their daring sport anywhere in the city. Police feared that the glider was "only soarable for a short time of the year -- approximately four to six weeks."

Police feared that the gliders might get entangled in power lines, fall onto cars or, because they're such an attraction, cause motorists watching them to plow into each other.

But the committee brushed aside objections from the police after hearing from a delegation of hang gliders.

Ian Vantreight, vice-president of the Victoria Hang Gliding Association, told the meeting that Dallas Road was "only soarable for a short time of the year -- approximately four to six weeks."

...each pilot had to carry a $1 million third-party liability insurance policy before getting permission to fly.

...about 150 hours of air time had been logged by each pilot without "even one incident, leave alone an accident."

"As far as the mention of congestion and rear-end collisions as a result of drivers slowing down to view the gliders during flight, we don't feel that we can be held responsible for the drivers' actions while operating a motor vehicle,"

Edited by aastra, 19 August 2020 - 07:56 AM.

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