Aryze Development’s floating dock in the Gorge Waterway has been approved by the federal government. (Photo courtesy Luke Mari)

Aryze Development’s floating dock in the Gorge Waterway has been approved by the federal government. (Photo courtesy Luke Mari)

Feds approve floating swim platform quietly installed in Victoria waterway

Public feedback for Gorge installation overwhelmingly positive, developer says

After more than 100 supporters weighed in, the federal government approved a swim platform installed in the Gorge Waterway this summer.

In mid-July, a wooden floating dock with a Japanese Katsura tree in the middle appeared in the Gorge Waterway. The floating platform was quietly installed by Aryze Developments as part of a placemaking strategy called Project Albero – meaning “tree” in Italian.

The platform was anchored near Bamfield Park and was intended to act as a place for swimmers to rest and admire the views.

READ ALSO: Gorge Waterway swimming platform requires federal permit to remain in place

In September, Aryze Development was contacted by the federal government and told they needed a permit.

The company applied and, once the application reached the public feedback phase, called on the community for support, said Luke Mari, Aryze co-owner.

Public feedback was collected on the government website until Oct. 10 and more than 100 community members weighed in – nine respondents opposed the installation.

The City of Victoria added its support in mid-September.

READ ALSO: Victoria city council in support of floating dock on Gorge

After working closely with the Aryze team, the federal government officially approved it on Dec. 4.

“We’re golden,” Mari said after the news came in. “We’re no longer rebels of the law.”

He noted that the decision was made based on a number of factors including the community feedback, the technical merits, safety and impacts on navigation and the environment.

The platform was not thrown together or randomly placed but was carefully designed with input from architects and engineers and thoughtfully installed to ensure “it will be there in 100 years,” Mari said.

He said the support that the community showed was “the cherry on top.”

READ ALSO: Floating dock installed secretly in Gorge entices swimmers with free beer, chance to win gift cards


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devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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