Colwood Mayor Rob Martin is pitching the idea of a gondola on a 10-acre lot in Royal Bay, which could connect to a commuter ferry to downtown Victoria along the city’s waterfront. Currently, there is no funding in place for the gondola project and no discussion have taken place at council meetings. (Twitter/@PortlandTram)

Colwood Mayor Rob Martin is pitching the idea of a gondola on a 10-acre lot in Royal Bay, which could connect to a commuter ferry to downtown Victoria along the city’s waterfront. Currently, there is no funding in place for the gondola project and no discussion have taken place at council meetings. (Twitter/@PortlandTram)

Colwood mayor pitches 10 acres for gondola, parking

Project dependent on province approving commuter ferry to downtown Victoria

Imagine a future where you live on the West Shore and commute to downtown Victoria using a commuter ferry and a gondola.

“It’s one of those ideas that you start thinking about and you just can’t stop talking about it,” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin of his vision. “I don’t believe in using our waterfront as a parking lot, so that’s where a gondola comes in.”

Martin is proposing that a 10-acre, city-owned lot, just behind the site for the new Royal BC Museum Collections gallery along Metchosin Road, be turned into a parking lot and gondola system.

Commuters could park their vehicles and ride the gondola about a kilometre into the Royal Beach area, which Martin has flagged to waterfront developers as as ideal location for a commuter ferry to the downtown core.

He said council hasn’t determined the potential for the 10-acre piece of land yet. There is no funding in place for a gondola project and there has been no discussion of it at council.

READ MORE: Gondola aims to solve James bay cruise conundrum

The mayor expects to see hundreds of new commuters due to the Royal BC Museum extension, a $9.5-million elementary school project along Latoria Boulevard and a projected boom of retail and residential buildings on the Royal Beach waterfront.

In October 2020, the province’s South Island Transportation Strategy pushed the potential for a ferry into long-term priority instead of short-term projects such as electric vehicle charging stations.

Martin pointed out that the next step in the plan is confirming support from the province.

To get there, the city would need a feasibility study, which is estimated to cost around $1 million. It would determine price tags for the provincial government to determine if it’s something worth investing in.

If the ferry idea is rejected a gondola conversation would be moot.

ALSO READ: Colwood mayor pushes for passenger ferry from Colwood to Victoria

Martin said he’s pushing the idea early so he doesn’t get the same results as previous gondola ideas pitched across the region.

In 2013, the idea to carry cruise ship passengers from Ogden Point to Victoria Harbour was shot down after residents aired concerns of privacy loss, property devaluation and loss of views and parkland. Martin wants to build the gondola and ferry before the entirety of Royal Beach is built, so residents would already be aware that a gondola would be set in place.

Similarly, the 2016 idea for a gondola to connect Langford’s Bear Mountain to Mt. Finlayson fizzled after the Westin Bear Mountain hotel was sold in July 2019.

Martin said Seacliff Properties, Royal Beach’s developers, have voiced support for a ferry, but have yet to be included in the conversation over a gondola.

RELATED: Royal Beach reopens to the public, plans to rezone for waterfront hub


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

City of Colwood,infrastructureparking

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Victoria police arrested a man Jan. 15 after he rammed his minivan into an occupied police vehicle. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria man arrested for ramming minivan into occupied police vehicle

Man caught after fleeing, crashing into cement retaining wall

Mayor Rob Martin and Costa Canna president Phil Floucault cut the ribbon on Colwood’s first cannabis retail store. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Cowichan Tribes’ Costa Canna cannabis store opens in Colwood

Cowichan Tribes has one-year deal to grow, sell cannabis

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests: Greater Victoria teacher union

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Most Read