WildPlay Zipline Coming to Inner Harbour?

Next summer on Victoria’s Inner Harbour there could be a new tourist attraction – a 540-foot-long zipline from Wharf Street out to the end of Ship Point.

WildPlay Element Parks is asking the Provincial Capital Commission and Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to use their waterfront properties for a takeoff tower and landing zone.

“We’re hoping to put something in there,” said Tom Benson of WildPlay, which operates ziplines and forest aerial obstacle courses in four B.C. locations.

Tourism Victoria is “pretty pumped about it,” he said.

The takeoff tower would be built on the grassy bank behind its visitor information centre, just down the hill from street level. It recalls the busy zipline that operated across Robson Square in downtown Vancouver during the Winter Olympics, from temporary metal scaffolding, although WildPlay’s wooden structure would be “a little more robust than that.”

Benson said the zipline wouldn’t affect floatplanes, ferry traffic or motor vehicles using Wharf Street and the parking areas below the route. During festivals that erect temporary tents on the Ship Point wharf, WildPlay would take down the cable if required.

WildPlay met with the Downtown Residents Association to talk about the zipline proposal. “That was a really positive meeting,” Benson said.

The plan for the waterfront zipline is to make it a kind of “introductory offer” with a ticket costing $10 to $20. WildPlay hopes to get school groups and other zipline newcomers to try the new attraction and visit WildPlay’s other more elaborate sites in the West Shore, Nanaimo, Whistler and Maple Ridge.

But there are still a few hurdles to jump before the adrenalin starts flowing. The boards of the two public agencies which own the land at each end need to approve WildPlay’s proposal, and city of Victoria would need to issue a temporary use permit.

Further discussions of WildPlay’s business plan will follow with the various public agencies to “see if they have the appetite for something like this on the Inner Harbour,” Benson said.