City of Victoria Housing Completions by Neighbourhood

Following up on the previous post, Victoria (CRD) Development Patterns, let’s take a look at a breakdown of the housing completions within the City of Victoria.

First, looking at housing completions over the last 5 years in the CRD, we see this comparison among the 13 municipalities for ground oriented housing (detached, semi-detached, row townhouse). Victoria has 368 completions of ground oriented housing over the last 5 years.


crd completions last 5 yrs


Now breaking down those 368 Victoria completions by neighbourhood we get the following chart.


victoria grnd completions last 5 yrs


This breakdown starts to give us an idea of the recent redevelopment characteristics of each neighbourhood in Victoria for ground oriented housing. The thing to keep in mind with these numbers is that they don’t represent net new housing units. Many of these housing completions were re-builds of existing dwellings.

Leading the way is the grouped neighbourhood of Ross Bay/Gonzales/Rockland with 107 completions of new detached, semi-detached or row housing completions over the last 5 years. Next was the grouped neighbourhood of Fernwood/Jubilee/Oaklands with 78 completions. The next three neighbourhoods, with similar completion numbers, are James Bay, Cook Street (North and South Fairfield) and Vic West.

Switching over to Apartment completions we get a much better idea of net new housing units with these completion numbers by the nature of the housing form. Here’s the Apartment completions for the entire CRD over the last years. Victoria leads the way with 1,673 completions, followed by Langford with 1,070 units and then Saanich with 669 units over the last 5 years.


crd apt completions last 5 yrs


Now again breaking that City of Victoria line down by neighbourhood we get the following chart.


victoria apt completions last 5 yrs


Not surprisingly we have Downtown leading the way with 811 new units completed over the last 5 years, followed by Vic West with 216, and then Cook Street with 169 new units.

Also noticeable in these results is that the top 2 neighbourhoods for ground oriented redevelopment are in the bottom three neighbourhoods for Apartment development. Various housing forms and appropriate levels of new development are critical in all neighbourhoods. For instance, new housing forms in a neighbourhood can attract downsizing empty nesters, allowing them to stay in their community while freeing up their family homes for new families.


CRD Population Changes in Context

When I get hold of some data I like to prepare a variety of charts to help me “see” the data. This is more likely about seeing how things are changing over time (ie trends) or how things compare to each other.

Typically, certain things in the charts will stick out as being unexpected and then the attempt at learning will begin.

This is a great way to either confirm your present worldview on a given topic or identify the areas where your thinking on that topic needs updating to current reality. Also, as you view one dataset, you will no doubt begin identifying links and connections to your other datasets and personal knowledge thus helping to update your mental model of how something actually works.

With that in mind, I will now update my understanding of population changes in the Capital Region District (CRD) which we can then hopefully connect back to Victoria (CRD) Residential Development Patterns for some  residential development insights for a future blog post.

This population dataset comes from the 2015 Sub-Provincial Population Estimates by BC Stats. It was released on January 29, 2016 and each year’s estimate is as of July 1st.

First lets look at the change in population from 2011 to 2015 for 29 regions in BC by percentage change (%). I’ve only coloured the top 10 regions by 2015 population for easier viewing. The regions in the legend are sorted in descending order by 2015 population. Those top 10 regions account for about 85% of BC’s 2015 population.


bc x reg% tableau pngtest

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New Housing Needs

New housing depends on many things but these three things are very important.

Someone to buy new housing….. (Bloomberg)

Housing development applications and approvals….. (Times Colonist)

Someone to build new housing…. (Times Colonist)

Seems like it was all coming together today for Vancouver Island new housing.


“Gentle” Density Should be Easier

We need a better way to get new housing approved.

Especially when it means getting more housing in an area that already has all the hard and soft infrastructure in place.

Especially when the form of housing being proposed is essentially the same form that is already in the area (detached ground oriented housing).

Especially when the population of the area is declining which will ultimately hurt existing businesses and make services more expensive to maintain.

I find this situation very disappointing….  (Times Colonist)

Providing new housing is hard.






The Importance of Housing

When you can generally find, and afford, the type of housing you need in the general area you need it, the local economy and society seem to work better.

But when there’s some sort of imbalance, often a shortage or supply too far removed geographically from demand, it can become a real problem. There needs to be alternative choices (housing types) available and the process of providing those alternatives needs to be more certain and less speculative. Most families could give up a yard but it becomes difficult when asked to give up 2 bedrooms.

Here’s a couple of takes on the repercussions of housing affordability in Vancouver.


Reporting from the Middle Class Vancouver Trenches (Globe and Mail)

A Crisis in Vancouver: The Lifeblood of the City is Leaving  (Globe and Mail)





Victoria (CRD) Development Patterns

As I’ve been generally focused on residential development data from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for the past many years, I’ve never taken a look at what’s happening in my own backyard.

Here’s a first look.

The Capital Region District (CRD) is comprised of 13 municipalities with a population of about 378,000 people. The 3 biggest municipalities are Saanich with 111,000 residents (down -1.1% in last 5 years); Victoria with 85,000 (up +3.1% in last 5 years); and Langford with about 37,000 residents (up +22.5% in last 5 years).

The chart below shows the cumulative number of housing completions by municipality over the last 15 years.


crd nh completions dec15

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