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The Gorge Waterway


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#1 amor de cosmos

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 08:26 AM

I didn't know about any of these

A Victoria community group says public access to a popular local waterway is being blocked by homeowners and private landowners.

A survey by the Veins of Life Watershed Society and the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre identified about 87 public access points to the Gorge waterway that have been blocked, encroached upon or obscured from view.

Calvin Sandborn, the legal director for the law centre, said in some cases "private" and "keep out" signs have been posted on public land near the Gorge, a tidal inlet that extends seven kilometres through the municipalities of Victoria, Saanich and Esquimalt.

"The problems that we're seeing is that public land going down to the water is often being privatized by adjacent landowners," Sandborn said.

Subdivisions in the region require public access to the waterfront every 200 metres, as well as at the ends of roads close to the water, he said.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...-uvic-1.4563285
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#2 Hotel Mike

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:07 AM

Hawaii has the right idea. Private owners may not block any part of the coastline.


Don't be so sure.:cool:

#3 lanforod

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:18 AM

It would be nice if the linear park, or at least the paved path went all the way around the Gorge, for sure. Doing a round trip walk using Craigflower isn't so nice.


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#4 Jackerbie

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:19 AM

Hawaii has the right idea. Private owners may not block any part of the coastline.

 

Is that blocking the coastline itself, or access to it?

 

I know that Kelowna has had issues with people putting up fences beyond the high water line (which is where private property ends) to prevent people from walking along beaches on Okanagan Lake, but this is issuer with the Gorge is completely different, with property owners blocking the public trails and rights-of-way to get to the beach in the first place.



#5 lanforod

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:23 AM

All Hawaii coastline is public owned and cannot be made in-accessible by private ownership (though I imagine there may be some military exceptions).



#6 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:35 AM

If the municipality has not provided a very welcoming access point, I can see why homeowners want to stifle visitors a bit.


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#7 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 10:37 AM

What good is the public access at Shirley and these other roads anyway, that the public can't get at the more public parks?

 

screenshot-www.google.ca-2018.03.07-10-36-38.png

 

 


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#8 Baro

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 02:21 PM

I poured over CRD maps looking for these little slices.  There's not really that many of them, and most have a park or street or something that leads right to the water very close by anyways.


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#9 Cassidy

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 07:53 AM

The Gorge transits four municipalities, Victoria, Esquimalt, Saanich, and View Royal (if you include Portage Inlet in the mix).

 

There isn't any coordination between those four "zones of confusion" in terms of a cohesive access policy to the public land that is the Gorge waterway below the high tide line, and any publicly owned land above the high tide line ... and as things are currently structured, there never will be.

 

Yet another argument for amalgamation - a coordinated access policy and plan for publicly owned lands across the current multiple municipalities in the CRD.



#10 lanforod

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 08:27 AM

^ I think the only problem area for access is Esquimalt...



#11 Cassidy

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:53 AM

^ I think the only problem area for access is Esquimalt...

The article linked to by the OP talks much more about Saanich than it does about Esquimalt.

 

Victoria and Portage Inlet likely suffer the same issues, albeit to varying degrees.



#12 Coreyburger

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:02 AM

The Gorge transits four municipalities, Victoria, Esquimalt, Saanich, and View Royal (if you include Portage Inlet in the mix).

 

There isn't any coordination between those four "zones of confusion" in terms of a cohesive access policy to the public land that is the Gorge waterway below the high tide line, and any publicly owned land above the high tide line ... and as things are currently structured, there never will be.

https://www.crd.bc.ca/GWI



#13 Cassidy

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 11:29 AM

Thanks for the link ... I didn't know this initiative existed.

 

I wonder if the Gorge Waterway Initiative is even aware of the access issues? ... I don't see them mentioned on the website.



#14 Sparky

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:18 PM

What good is the public access at Shirley and these other roads anyway, that the public can't get at the more public parks?

 

I swore I wouldn't get involved in this conversation, but here you plop it right in front of me... and your question is more than a valid one.

 

For the most part this witch hunt is the brainchild of one guy who thinks he is entitled to walk wherever he wants on public land unencumbered 24/7. 

 

Let's put this "issue" into perspective. These access points are not "mini parks". They are strips of land that were left at the time of subdivision for access to the water by the municipality for whatever reason deemed necessary in the future. Perhaps for storm drainage, perhaps for firefighting purposes. 

 

So these parcels are kept out of private hands, but are left un-maintained and unused by either the public or municipality since the beginning. The neighboring property owners are left to care for these strips otherwise they would be unthinkably overgrown. Think of these as a boulevards without municipal care. 

 

How do I know these things?.....because I owned and lived in the building at 1164-1166 Rhoda Lane (next to the "Shirley" access that you refer to) for 13 years.

 

There is no pathway for the public to walk down. The terrain is so steep in places even a billy goat wouldn't make it. You wouldn't be able to get past the trees without trespassing, and there is absolutely nothing to accomplish once you arrive at the water's edge. 

 

Don't believe me? let's have a look.

 

Here is a shot of the property lines. That skinny little piece to the left of 1164-1166 is the so called access. Those odd shaped property lines over the water in front of 1164-1166 is the foreshore lease that I made so my dock would be legal.

Rhoda property map.png

 

Now let's put the property lines into perspective. The access is a little wider than the width of a car. You can see a car on the right of the access. You can also see the roof of a car shelter encroaching on the access. I guess that is what all the fuss is about.

Rhoda propert with graphic.png

 

Here is a shot showing what else is using that access...a bunch of trees on a steep slope.

Rhoda Lane GE.png

 

So in my mind this whole thing is a hoax. If a guy needs to put his canoe in the Gorge, there are plenty of spots at the foot of Foreshaw or the Gorge Kinsmen Park. 

 

Click on the photos...you won't need your glasses.


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#15 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 03:30 PM

A agree, this really is a non-issue.  It would be a different story if there was parking, and a developed access.


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#16 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 04:48 PM

Esquimalt council has voted to approve the construction of a multipurpose building and a three-zone fenced dog park in Esquimalt Gorge Park.

 

In a special council meeting, council voted to prioritize the dog park and multipurpose building over an elevated boardwalk at Saxe Point Park, which will be reconsidered if any funding remains. The $7 million in funding for waterfront improvements comes from the Capital Regional District (CRD)’s one-time $17 million grant offered for the use of McLoughlin Point for the region’s new wastewater treatment plant. Of that, $5 million will be reserved for downtown recreation facility improvements, and another $5 million to downtown emergency services and public safety facilities improvements.

 

https://www.vicnews....for-gorge-park/


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 20 November 2019 - 04:49 PM.


#17 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 06:12 AM

this seems like a great idea.

 

 

 

For years, kayakers and other paddlers have been working to create a safe marine trail that would allow them to circumnavigate Esquimalt and Vic West from Victoria Harbour to Esquimalt Harbour and along the Gorge Waterway.

They’ve made significant progress on the Victoria Waterways Loop in recent years, notably the completion of the Portage Trail that allows paddlers to portage one kilometre from Esquimalt Harbour to Portage Inlet.

But one significant obstacle remains: tidal rapids underneath the Tillicum Bridge that can prove treacherous for inexperienced paddlers.

Now, Esquimalt is investigating whether it can remove that barrier by creating a landing beach and pathway that would allow paddlers to portage past the rapids and link to Gorge Park.

 

https://www.timescol...lers-1.24048066



#18 Mike K.

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 08:15 AM

Councillor Loveday was once in a canoe that flipped due to those rapids. It was a training exercise for a grade 12 trip to the Broken Islands that some students took with one of the teachers. I was on such a trip myself, but I never attended a training sessions along the Gorge.


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#19 Dr.Doinglittle

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 09:05 AM

The proposed landing area would presumably be on the south side, which already has an existing trail linking to the Kinsmen Park side which runs under the bridge.

 

I would think the entrance/exit points would need to be a considerable distance away from the narrows (the current is also strong close to the narrows during peak ebb/flood). Or the landing could have some sort of protection from the current. It's not easy getting in and out of a kayak in any situation, let alone with a current to deal with.

 

I'm sure kayak/SUP rental companies would love to see this through. If you rent from places like Ocean River, they will tell you to not traverse the narrows. Whatever form this plan takes, the landing would need to be foolproof enough for tourists that rent kayaks.


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#20 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 09:17 AM

yes it can't be for experts only.  experts already know how to nimbly portage around the falls if needed or to just use it at the right tide.



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