This photo proves there is still an abundance of available land, relatively close to the core, for "gentle density" (low-rise condos, townhouses etc.).
No drastic measures are required. If the other municipalities were to adopt "Victoria-style" density even for limited designated areas within their boundaries, it could accommodate thousands of people.
Somebody on this board made this point back in September, 2019:
...if Saanich were to have the same population density as Victoria city, the population of Saanich would be 460,000
...flip it around for further enlightenment: if Victoria city were to have the same population density as Saanich, the population of Victoria city would be less than 25,000
People defend Victoria city every day for how nice it is, how comfortable it is, even for how supposedly low-density and slow-paced it is. And yet if Saanich were to adopt Victoria's own comfortable formula it would mean there's room for an additional 345,000 people within the confines of Saanich alone.
Too scary? Okay, so slash the goal by half. If Saanich were half as dense as Victoria city, the population of Saanich would be 230,000.
Still too scary? Okay, so be super timid and add a mere 25,000 in Saanich, a mere 2,500 in Esquimalt, and a mere 2,500 in Oak Bay.
In other words, even if Victorians decide that Victoria city's own model is too intensely urban and too super high-density, and even if Victorians totally chicken out and aim for only a fraction of Victoria city's density... there's still room for many tens of thousands of additional people in the heart of Greater Victoria.