Gorge Pointe Pub owners Tom Burley, left, and Mike Joss outside the Esquimalt pub. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Gorge Pointe Pub owners Tom Burley, left, and Mike Joss outside the Esquimalt pub. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)

Neighbours have their say on development replacing Esquimalt’s Gorge Pointe Pub

The pub’s lease is up at the end of 2021 after Abstract Developments bought the property last year

Neighbours of Esquimalt’s Gorge Pointe Pub had their first say over what will become of the property after the restaurant’s lease is up at year’s end.

Abstract Developments purchased the pub’s 1075 Tillicum Rd. property last year after it was on the market for four years. The company ran a virtual community feedback meeting on May 19.

Adam Cooper, Abstract’s director of community planning and development, said they want to hear from residents before going to Esquimalt with a building application.

“We want to figure out what the community values are and then do our best to reflect those,” he told the about 60-person Zoom meeting. “What do you like about the neighbourhood that you might like to see more of.”

Residents at the meeting were firm in that they want the new development to include some sort of food business that can also be a hub for social gatherings – such as a cafe, restaurant or pub.

“There’s an attachment to the space that the pub is using and we’re hearing that loud and clear,” Cooper said.

Mike Joss, general manager and co-owner of the pub, hopes they can negotiate to extend their lease past 2021, until construction on the new development begins. He said Abstract turned down one lease extension offer they made – that would see the pub operate until shovels are in the ground – and the company’s counteroffer was too costly for Gorge Pointe to pay, especially fresh off the pandemic’s third wave.

READ: Bystanders rescue driver from flaming car after rollover crash in Esquimalt

Joss thanked the pub’s patrons for their business during the pandemic, saying it helped many of their workers stay employed.

“A pub isn’t necessarily the building, a pub is the people, a pub is the clientele,” Joss said. “We still own and control the licence, so there’s no definitive way that the Gorge Point Pub can’t be resurrected in another location.”

“Nothing’s forever, everything changes,” Joss said.

Some neighbours were concerned about adding more housing density to the area and about the new building’s height impacting how much sun the surrounding homes get.

The neighbours also asked that pedestrian and active transportation improvements be included in the plan to help offset Tillicum Road’s traffic congestion and speed. Cooper said they would work with Esquimalt during construction to move the sidewalk away from the road, widen it and add greenery and trees as a buffer between the walkway and roadway.

“We’re trying to ensure that we’re building a high-quality product that has those environmental considerations in the forefront,” he said.

Scot Osborne lives around the corner on McNaughton Avenue and is concerned about contractor crews parking on nearby side streets. He also hopes the plan would include speed bumps added on his and other nearby side streets to deter people from using them as cut-troughs to Craigflower Road.

Cooper said Abstract’s construction plans include clauses with contractors to ensure their vehicles don’t spill over into nearby neighbourhoods.

Cooper said there will other opportunities for community input before a formal application is made and sent to council.

READ: Indigenous man to lead healing walk Thursday on Hwy. 17 through Greater Victoria

Do you have a story tip? Email: jake.romphf@blackpress.ca.

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


Commercial real estatedevelopmentEsquimalt

Just Posted

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

A pub patio in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patio and picnic dining could mean a free meal for Greater Victoria patrons

Local celebrities pick up the tab with latest Greater Victoria chamber contest

Greater Victoria School District (SD61) Saturday announced a COVID-19 exposure at Oak Bay High School. (Black Press Media File).
Oak Bay High School subject of COVID-19 exposure

Greater Victoria School District (SD61) said possible exposure happened June 9-10

St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Police are asking opponents of logging near Port Renfrew not to involve their children following additional arrests Saturday. (Black Press Media File)
Police arrest eight protesters including two minors near Port Renfrew Saturday

RCMP ask parents not to involve their children in Fairy Creek logging protests

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read