The Victoria Downtown Residents Association was formed in 2004 as a grassroots organization by a handful of Downtown residents who were concerned about a proposed development project that was out of scale and beyond the height and density limits prescribed for Victoria’s historic Chinatown; the oldest Chinatown in Canada and a designated National Historic Site of Canada. Since those early days of its inception, the DRA has been a strong proponent of responsible densification that supports liveability. In its infancy, the DRA focused on land use issues and community building and outreach through arts and events.
The DRA continues to add to its membership as the Downtown Harris Green neighbourhood continues to absorb the highest concentration of new residential units in the core. This growth provides a greater depth of resources and access to residents with a reliably diverse range of skills, knowledge and experiences. These local human resources have provided the DRA the opportunity to continue to expand its activities through organizational restructuring and updating its governance to better meet the full scope of its mandate.