News, Post

Cadboro Bay takes two spots in the “Top Stories of 2020″ article by Victoria News


To cap off the 2020 year, Victoria News featured its top stories of 2020 and included two from Cadboro Bay.

In the opening spotlight is six-year-old Callaghan McLaughlin, who set up a joke stand outside his home to create smiles and laughs amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read his story from April, 2020 here (Photograph above by Kelsea McLaughlin).

Also noted to have captured interest was the proposal by a Saanich Councillor to review off-leash dogs on Saanich beaches. Given the importance of Cadboro Bay Beach, the Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association cast a wide net to hear the varying perspectives on the matter from across the community. Reports, news articles and a video presentation are all available here.

News, Post

Federal Survey on Dogs in Victoria-area Migratory Bird Sanctuaries

The  Canadian Wildlife Service, with LGL Limited (a local environmental  consulting company), is conducting a data and evidence collection  project investigating impacts from at-large dogs on birds in the  migratory bird sanctuaries in the Greater Victoria area. There are three  Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBSs) in the Greater Victoria area:  Victoria Harbour, Shoal Harbour, and Esquimalt Lagoon. The purpose of  this project is to collect further information on the biological risks  associated with at large dogs on migratory birds within these migratory  bird sanctuaries. The results of this project are expected to help raise  knowledge and awareness of the issue, enable prioritization of  compliance promotion activities in the MBSs that are part of the study  and improve outcomes for migratory birds and species at riskAs  part of this data and evidence collection aspects of this study, a  survey has been created to assist in compiling observations from active  users of these MBSs. It would be greatly appreciated if you would  complete the survey. We request that one survey be completed per study  area that you are familiar with (there are multiple study areas per MBS,  defined in the survey). Each survey takes only a couple minutes to  complete. Please complete the survey(s) by November 10, 2020.

The full survey link is:

Thank  you very much for your time and assistance with this project. If you  have any questions or comments, or wish to discuss this project further,  please feel free to contact me. Kind regards,

Nathan Hentze, M.Sc. Wildlife Biologist

LGL  Limited environmental research associates (under contract to Canadian Wildlife Service/Environment and Climate Change Canada)

9768 Second Street, Sidney, BC Canada V8L 3Y8

Cell: 250-882-4581 – Fax: 250.655.4761

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: dogs on beach

I am writing to express my desire for dogs to be allowed to remain using Cadboro Bay Beach as a walking area. 

I am a resident of Oak Bay and walk my dog along Willows Beach every day of the year until we are kicked off for 5 months of the year. As a result of that closure I am forced to drive my vehicle to Cadboro Bay and walk along that beach. 

Perhaps the focus should be on following up with people who do not pick up after their pets and not penalize those who are diligent about doing so. Perhaps the 2 municipalities need to talk to one another and figure out a way of making it work for both beaches to allow for people to walk their dogs during limited hours during the summer months, so that all people can enjoy the beaches, however they choose to use them….whether sun bathing, relaxing or walking their pet. 

We all have different ways of enjoying ourselves and therefore need to find  a way for everyone to enjoy the amenities at our doorsteps.
We do not live in a perfect world and therefore we are never going to eliminate all unforeseen circumstances, but how lucky we are to have such beauty to enjoy. Instead of this being a contentious issue perhaps we should work to figure out a way to make it work for all people. I find it quite frustrating to walk my dog along the sidewalk of Willows Beach during the summer mornings only to pass other dog owners doing the same thing, while the beach is completely vacant. It seems such a waste.

 There are also people who complain about having dogs on the sidewalk. I have sent letters to Oak Bay to ask them to consider allowing dogs to be on the beach in the early morning hours during the summer until 8:30 am… no avail. Perhaps part of the issue at Cadboro Bay is because many locals from Oak Bay migrate towards Caddy Bay after the 5 month closure.

Just a few thoughts….again we have so much to be grateful for and really so little to be upset about.

Mike McCleish

Oak Bay

Letters To the Board, Post

Concerning Dogs at Gyro Park

Further to the several letters about dogs at Gyro Park.  I live on Penrhyn and make near daily use of the park and the beach at Cadboro Bay. I have noticed a large increase in the number of unleashed dogs on the Victoria Yacht club side of the beach.  I have a fear of dogs and the fact that dogs are running loose means I cannot use the beach for my walks. Leashes are a must.  There is a dog part of the beach already where I cannot go, but I have a right to at least part of the beach.

Thanks so much

Budd Hall, 2580 Penrhyn Street

News, Post

Study of Dogs at Cadboro Bay Beach

Following six months of research and extensive public input, CBRA completed its report on dogs at Cadboro Bay Beach. The report was submitted to Saanich Council on August 31, 2020 and findings were summarized in a presentation to Mayor and Council on September 28, 2020. Watch the video of the presentation, and find the report and other content at this link:

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Dogs on Cadboro Bay Beach

Your report was brought to my attention recently and it raises numerous concerns, including a picture of a loose pet on its front cover. It appears to have been written by a dog lobby/special interest group. I am quoted out of context and crucial information on Migratory Bird Sanctuaries and their regulations (below) is missing. The enforcement of these regulations on Cadboro Beach, where birds are now few,  is the option that should be implemented and enforced.

This report appears inconsistent with the goals of your association. The CBRA’s website indicates that you are interested in waterfront protection, wildlife, ecological conservation and restoration. As seen here and elsewhere, large numbers of loose pets in a precious natural area lead to its degradation not its conservation. Loose pets are incompatible with ecologically vibrant shores, birdlife and biodiversity, not to mention that they are in contravention of Migratory Bird Sanctuary regulations.

Cadboro Beach is a public beach within Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Questions related to federal jurisdiction in this area should be clearly explained in your report. Cadboro Bay and Cadboro Beach (all tidal areas below the high-water mark) are valued components of a Migratory Bird Sanctuary where MBS regulations have been wantonly ignored for decades for various reasons. The time has come to turn this around and take this seriously in light of severe declines in regional, Canadian and global bird populations. In fact, it is long overdue.

We encourage the CBRA to tackle all matters (e.g. loose pets, derelict boats, invasive Canada Geese, boats anchored over eelgrass beds, private shoreline infrastructure) that degrade Cadboro Bay. We  hope that your association will help us, Saanich and Environment Canada promote and enforce Migratory Bird Sanctuary regulations and restore our unusual, urban bird sanctuary. It features priceless nature and biodiversity in the city and precious rare species and species at risk.

I hope to meet your board later and explain what historic Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary is all about as we prepare to celebrate its centenary on Oct. 27, 2023.


Jacques Sirois
Victoria, BC V8S

Migratory Bird Sanctuary regulations:,_c._1036/page-1.html#docCont

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Canine Survey Response


My wife and I have resided in Cadboro Bay since May, 1991.  In that time one of the most significant changes has been the increase in the residential canine population.  This is a trend that has been seen in many communities, not just ours.  The impact of this change has been both positive and negative.  A significant negative impact has occurred on our beaches.  My wife and I stopped going to the beach many years ago as the canine population increased, with it some bad canine behaviour unchecked by their human owners.    One evening we were surrounded by 2 Rottweiler dogs.  That was it for us.  We have not gone to the beach for many years.  Even though we have not gone to the beach we are still impacted by the current situation as on any given day the noise of barking dogs can be heard, sometimes for many, many hours of the day.

There are many reasons for restricting canines from our beaches in Cadboro Bay.  One reason is that our shoreline is within the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary which was established in 1923 and expanded to include the 6 harbours in the region in 1924.  It seems to me that all levels of government have relinquished their responsibilities, real or perceived, to our pets and citizens who place little importance in our migratory birds. Then there are those who are simply not aware of the Sanctuary and of its importance.  I believe that the majority of our residents fall into the latter category.  I believe that the Sanctuary encompasses the entirety of Cadboro Bay up to the highest high tide line, and perhaps the foreshore.  The Canadian Wildlife Agency has responsibility to manage the Sanctuary.  

I have heard many stories from neighbours about unruly canines at the beach, and sometimes about their unruly owners, which surely are the minority.  As I have not witnessed this first hand.  Any information I provide will be anecdotal.  Others have first hand experiences to share and I think that is best.  However, I did hear of one incident recently that made me very concerned.  Someone was assaulted by a canine owner.  Did this happen?  I don’t know for sure but it did, it should be a “line in the sand moment”.   It is clear that the issue of canines at our beach is one that needs to be clearly resolved for all of the residents, not only of Cadboro Bay as our beaches are accessed by residents from all over the GVRD.  

With regards to the options presented by the CBRA, Option 3, if you removed the May-September qualification, is the least objectionable.  I would only vote for an option that required leashes for dogs 365 days a year, regardless of the time of day.  Clearly the playground area should be off-limits to canines.  People with canines should be able to use the walkways but canines should be leashed at all times.  Migratory Birds use our bay all year round.  Breeding season begins in March, or sooner.  I’m not sure the May-September guideline took Migratory Birds into consideration.  I believe that the time period was more tied to increase/decrease in use by residents rather than consideration for wildlife.  Note:  I knew some of the residents that battled to get the current guideline for canines at Cadboro Bay beach changed to what it is today.  I sincerely believe they did so with good intentions.  I believe times have changed and in turn, the guidelines need to change.

In conclusion, Cadboro Bay and the beaches are in a Bird Sanctuary established in 1923/24 that is managed by the Canadian Wildlife Agency. Canine owners need a place to walk their pets.  Citizens with children need to feel safe at our beaches.  All citizens need to feel safe at our beaches. The current situation does not provide a safe environment for any of us, or our wildlife.  We have a responsibility to protect the environment for our current and future generations.  What is currently happening is an abdication of responsibility at every level of government.  Leadership at the local level of government is needed.  I often hear politicians speak of Environmental Stewardship.  Well, here is one issue that begs for stewardship, and leadership.  It doesn’t get any more obvious than this issue.


Barry and Dana McKee

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Dogs on Cadboro Beach


In response to recent letters about dogs on Cadboro Beach that take issue with restrictions. 

Please consider that there are valid, non-frivolous reasons for wanting tighter restrictions. For people who have a fear of dogs, or an allergy to them, restrictions allow them to enjoy the same privilege you take for granted — to walk, swim or play at the beach.


D.E. Clover
University of Victoria

News, Post

Dogs survey: clarification

Following community feedback, we are aware there has been some confusion regarding the purpose of the report and survey.

Please read the report and survey, keeping in mind the 3 options presented are mere possibilities. They are offered  as an invitation to a conversation.

We are interested in your thoughts on them. Please rate them, but also provide suggestions and feedback.

Your ideas are important to us!

– Cadboro Bay Residents Association Board of Directors


Read the report and fill out survey on dogs on Gyro Beach


On January 27, Councillor Harper submitted a report to Saanich Council on “Beach Use and Dogs”.

In view of the public controversy generated by this report, the Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association undertook to develop a neighbourhood solution to the issue. In response, Saanich Council postponed a decision on the report until mid-July.

CBRA has now published its own report on dogs on Cadboro Bay Beach and seeks public input on its findings by survey. Here are the links to—

Members of the public are invited to comment on the report by completing the survey online.

If you prefer to fill out a printed version of the survey, you’ll find it here. 

QR code, for those who prefer it:


For your comments to be considered, the survey must be completed and returned before July 6th 2020.

The public may also provide input on the report at a kiosk, staffed by CBRA directors, in Cadboro Gyro Park. The kiosk will be open at the following dates and times:

  • Tue Jun 16: 9am – noon
  • Thu Jun 18: 2pm – 5pm
  • Sat Jun 20: 10am – 4pm
  • Tue Jun 23: 9am – noon
  • Thu Jun 25: 2pm – 5pm
  • Sat Jun 27: 10am – 4pm

For help in obtaining a copy of the report or completing the survey, please email or call Liz Miller of the CBRA Beach Committee at 250-888-4797.

We acknowledge the Lkwungen People, also known as the Songhees and  Esquimalt First Nations, on whose traditional lands we live, work and play.