Who We Are

The WBRA comprises individuals who live in the West Bay area and is a registered Society, constituted under the B.C. Societies Act.

The mandate of the Society is to promote the physical, environmental, economic, social, historic and aesthetic interests of the West Bay neighbourhood, including land use and development. 

See the WBRA Constitution

The WBRA was founded in 1996 in response to a contentious development proposed for the Matson Lands, Victoria Harbour's last patch of rare and endangered Garry Oak ecosystems.  

We went on to focus on initiatives like the Esquimalt Lantern Festival, advocating for appropriate development proposals, and the creation of the West Bay Neighbourhood Design Guidelines. 

Over the years WBRA members have sat on various Township of Esquimalt advisory committees and participated in many community consultation processes. 

The WBRA logo, showing a tree's silhouette arching over a walkway.

We advocate for respectful development and densification, along with reasonable adherence to Esquimalt's Official Community Plan.  We consider the West Bay Neighbourhood Design Guidelines an important guiding document for development.

 

The association became a registered BC Society in 2002.

Local Initiatives

Esquimalt Lantern Festival

 

The Esquimalt Lantern Festival was a very popular initiative started by the WBRA in 1997. The Festival has been a grassroots event run by volunteers for almost 20 years.

 

It was taken over by the Township's Community Arts Commission in 2019 and renamed Splash of Lights

A lantern shaped like a jellyfish hangs from a tree in Capt. Jacobson's Park.

Matson Lands Preservation

The WBRA worked with Friends of the Matson Lands to successfully lobby the developer of Swallows Landing to remove from his proposal, set aside and preserve, a full hectare of ecologically sensitive Garry oak meadows along the West Bay shoreline known as the Matson Lands.

Learn more about the Matson Conservation Area

Wildflowers bloom in a Garry Oak meadow in the Matson Lands.

West Bay Design Guidelines & Triangle Lands Development 

The WBRA played an integral role in the creation of the West Bay Neighbourhood Design Guidelines that continue to inform new development coming forward. 

 

These guidelines focus on the interface between public and private lands, and the overall livability that characterizes the West Bay neighbourhood.

After more than a decade of divisive debate around an appropriate type of development for the Triangle Lands (located at the foot of Head Street), the West Bay Design Guidelines helped inform the final design of the West Bay Quay, currently under construction and widely considered a good fit for the neighbourhood.