Dark Horizons

Feb 2017

Submitted by James Bay Neighbourhood Association

Following is a brief report on the December 14, 2016 meeting in addition to the January 11, 2017 general meeting of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association (JBNA).


The feature presentation at the January 11, 2017 JBNA General Meeting was a presentation and discussion with the Capital Regional District (CRD) project team regarding the wastewater proposal and its potential impact upon James Bay. Seventy-five to eighty-five residents listened in stunned amazement.

The JBNA Board had previously met, and provided the Wastewater team with anticipated concerns of the residents and land-base of James Bay. This JBNA General Meeting was the first opportunity for residents to discover and comprehend potential project impact on their lives, and to voice their concerns.

There are three elementsto the project – the treatment plant, the conveyance pipes (in/out), and piping of treated bio-solids to Hartland Landfill. The discussion was intended to focus on the social and environmental impacts on residents and the land base of James Bay, not on the treatment plant itself, not the type of treatment, nor the piping of bio-solids to the Hartland Landfill.

Three significant components of the project will impact James Bay residents:

- trenching and installation of the sewage waste conveyance pipe along Dallas Rd from Clover Point to the James Bay Anglers boat launch at Camel Point,

- drilling of a pipe conveyance channel/tunnel from James Bay Anglers to mid-outer-harbour, towards McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. The Drilling work area will be set up at or near the Anglers club house. Hours of work will be 7am to 7pm Mon to Fri, Sat 8am to 5pm, (basically 8-12hrs/day, 6-days/week for 12 months)

- assemble and weld pre-fabricated 48” diameter pipe segments, along 1km of Niagara Street, before the pipe is assembled on Niagara and dragged along Niagara into the tunnel under the harbour (a 24 hr/day, 4-day pipe pull after a 2 week preparation period).

Apparently pipeline construction has to be done in residential James Bay because of the compounded angle required to create the tunnel and the requirement for a kilometre of run room for the pipe (not available on the McLoughlin Point side).

The contractors are aware of noise levels(compounded by the Heli-jet) and are working to mitigate them. They reported completing a similar drilling project, in a community across the street from a daycare, where noise attenuation was at an acceptable level.

Fifty semi-truck loads of materials will be trucked into the James Bay Anglers site over a 2 week set-up period. The possibility of shipping by barge is still under consideration. Removal of an additional four truckloads of material from the site is anticipated each week for the duration of the project.

Environmental Impact:

The contractors are aware of the endangered species vegetation along the shoreline and the bird sanctuary, as well as the foreshore marine and vegetation. The seabed will be unaffected except at the drill site entry point. Tunnelling through bedrock is less invasive to the marine habitat than laying pipe on seabed.

Construction at Clover Point will take place to upgrade the current pump station to manage the increased sewage volumes.

The CRD spokesperson stated that no rezoning of James Bay properties is required. At the same time, James Bay residents expect mitigation and amenity considerations commensurate with the social and environmental costs residents will bear, significantly greater than impacts anticipated in Esquimalt or Fairfield. James Bay neighbourhood already carries the highest “burden” in the City in support of urban functions, particularly tourism, that benefit the City/region. The expectation of residents of James Bay is that Mayor and Council will recognize the burden of noise, traffic, and air pollution being placed on our community and support commensurate considerations.

The completed project is guaranteed to be odourless. The CRD will not accept the project unless it is odour-free. Completion is tentatively scheduled for April/May 2018. Additional information with more detailed timelines will be available at a JBNA meeting in April 2017. Total project costs of $265 million are outlined on the CRD website. Contact CRD:

Email: wastewater@crd.bc.ca


A straw vote at the January meeting asked residents which phrase was most identified with the retail area at Simcoe and Menzies Streets. “James Bay” won hands down with “5-Corners” being a distant second.


The rezoning of the existing gas station at 308 Menzies Street at Michigan Street was presented by Architect Alan Lowe at the December 2016 meeting. The existing building will be renovated, not demolished. The existing gas station with a service bay is to be rezoned into a gas station with offices and a convenience store. Existing under-ground gas tanks are being replaced with new tanks. The existing repair/garage will be removed and replaced by a convenience store. A second storey office space will be added. Storefronts will replace the existing garage doors and store front windows will correspond on the new second floor. Lower floor =1867 sqft, second floor = 1592 sqft. Nearby neighbours requested a firm commitment for evening closing hours for the gas station and convenience store. JBNA was later advised that the owner was not prepared to make that commitment.

Getting Around James Bay

Interim Survey Results were presented by members of the JBNA Active Transportation Committee, Bikes & Beyond, the first step of community consultation with regards to the use of James Bay streets. Briefly, 74% of the 483 respondents to the survey 'walk', and the majority of respondents regardless of age demographics 'walk'. The stated City-wide goal to reach 70% active transportation (walking, biking, or transit) means that James Bay is well in excess of that goal at 79%.

BC Transit: Routes in James Bay

BC Transit continues to examine the existing service, looking for improvements. A round of public consultation has been completed. The options and the recommendations of a second public consultation will be forwarded to the transit commission for a decision. Transit carries approx. 1,700 people/day in James Bay. 15,000 annual trips, 15 to 20 min service times.

Emergency Preparedness Workshops are scheduled at Victoria City Hall on Tuesday, February 7, 1-3 pm and Thursday, February 23 7-9 pm.

If You Think It is Busy Now

Consider the perfect storm which is descending upon James Bay:

2 1/2 years of Wastewater Treatment construction, Ogden Point development, Panamax LARGE ships scheduled to stop in Victoria, on-going or new developments including Capital Park, Embassy, Harbour Towers, Montreal/Niagara, 90 Dallas and others in the pipeline, and changes to BC transit service in James Bay and along Douglas Street. Can you be prepared for an emergency in this madness?

Next Month

Join your neighbours for monthly meetings of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association on the 2 Wednesday of every month (that's Wednesday, February 8 2017) at James Bay New Horizons on Menzies Street.

NOTE: Doors open at 6:30pm, February meeting starts at 6:45PM.

The February meeting will focus on the Fisherman’s Wharf area with the City presenting current plans for Heron Cove, and CRD staff presenting on the GreenShore Program. GVHA is forwarding a proposal for a new float home at the wharf, and Shakepeare Arts will introduce the "Year of Lear" program for 2017. A presentation from the City on Short-term Vacation Rentals (e.g. Air B&B) should complete the jam-packed meeting agenda.