Aryze Development’s floating swimming platform in the Gorge Waterway requires a permit from the federal government to remain in the water. (Photo courtesy Luke Mari)

Gorge Waterway swimming platform requires federal permit to remain in place

Developer calling on public to support project

A floating swimming platform quietly installed in the Gorge Waterway by Aryze Developments back in July now requires a permit from the federal government and the company is calling on the public for support.

On July 15, Aryze Developments installed a circular dock in the Gorge Waterway near Banfield Park for swimmers to rest on and take in the views. The first person to notice the dock was awarded a coffee shop gift card and the first swimmer to reach the platform was treated to Phillips Brewery beer that had been left there by the company.

READ ALSO: Floating dock installed secretly in Gorge entices swimmers with free beer, chance to win gift cards

Now, the dock’s position in the Gorge may be at risk. On Sept. 10, Aryze Development co-owner Luke Mari explained that the company had been contacted by the federal government and told they needed a permit for the platform to remain in the water. The company has applied to the Canadian government and submitted maps, drawings and information for consideration. Now, the application has entered the public feedback phase and Aryze Developments is calling on the community to show support by leaving a comment on the application.

Public feedback will be accepted on the Government of Canada website until Oct. 10 and then a decision will be made on the permit status, Mari explained.

Go to the Government of Canada website to fill out a form and “tell the feds that you love the dock,” he said.

READ ALSO: Plastic band removed from neck of Greater Victoria sea lion

The goal of the dock – called Project Albero, which means “tree” in Italian – was to encourage active use of the harbour and spark a conversation about urban change, Mari said in July.

The circular wooden dock, which features a sloped incline for swimmers to climb up and a Japanese Katsura tree, was “designed to be compliant” with regulations, Mari told Black Press Media on Thursday. He noted that it’s not located in a high-traffic area of the waterway, it’s been lit for visibility and the impact on the seafloor plants was minimized.

So far, the response from the community has been “98 per cent positive,” he said, adding that he and his kids have been out to the dock many times since it was installed. “Everyone’s loving it and it has drastically exceeded all our expectations.”

For more information on the project visit aryze.ca.


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