What exactly is Turkey Head, and what plans are emerging there?
The setting and the opportunity
Turkey Head is a distinctive public space in Oak Bay, situated adjacent to the Oak Bay Marina and popular destination for residents and visitors alike. Currently devoted primarily to parking and significantly underutilized, this area was ripe for a discussion with the community about different and more engaging use of the space.
The objective and the approach
The Community Association of Oak Bay (CAOB) and Greater Victoria Placemaking Network (GVPN) share a passion for vibrant public spaces. Members of the two organizations met in spring 2017 to explore ideas for public input and to raise the profile of the site as a public facility. We approached the site with a “blank slate” free of preconceived concepts, as we were interested to see what ideas would develop without any limitations.
The objective of the Turkey Head engagement project was to start a collaborative process with the community that would allow them to learn more about the site and brainstorm ideas. Initially planned as a single public session as part of the CAOB’s community dialogue series (Oak Bay Talks…), the great turnout for the event (over 55 attendees) inspired us to continue the conversation through the summer with a series of public input sessions at Oak Bay Night Market events in July, August and September 2017. Over these three sessions we spoke to over 150 people and received positive and thoughtful feedback.
Great uptake from the community!
The positive results from the engagement initiative led to an invitation to present to Oak Bay council in December 2017. Council was pleased to hear ideas for new uses of this public space! The project and the partners were also profiled on the front page of the Oak Bay News with an article describing the work to date: https://www.vicnews.com/community/a-vision-for-turkey-head/
What we heard
We heard a clear message from the community that there was strong interest in seeing Turkey Head activated for more uses! Many ideas spanning a range of interests were contributed by members of the public, including:
- Gathering space
- Events and Activations
- Arts and culture facilities
- Interpretive facilities
- Active recreation facilities
What’s happening next?
- Public events coming in spring 2018 – watch this space!
- The partners are going to communicate further with the public about planning for Turkey Head.
The GVPN will support continued dialogue on the future of this intriguing place. Thanks to our Board member Andrew Appleton for leading GVPN involvement; feel free to contact Andrew for more information.