A new, modern Belleville Terminal and an improved travelling experience for ferry passengers took a significant step forward as the Province approved funding for a redevelopment project.
“The new facility we’re building is going to generate hundreds of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in additional visitor spending over the coming decades,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “A modern pre-clearance terminal will make travel more convenient for tourists, while enhancing security and trade between Vancouver Island and Washington state, improving Vancouver Island’s tourism sector and boosting regional business investment.”
With an approved budget of $303.9 million, the project is expected to be completed in time for the 2028 tourism season. The federal government has confirmed $41.6 million for the project.The Province is also in discussions with ferry operators Black Ball Ferry Line and FRS Clipper to determine their respective involvement in the project. Procurement will begin in the coming weeks.
“By investing in a premier international gateway terminal that meets modern safety and security standards, our government will help grow British Columbia’s economy and ensure a prosperous and sustainable future,” said Randy Boissonnault, federal Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “This project will welcome global tourists and business travellers into the heart of Victoria’s inner harbour with world-class service while creating good-paying jobs and facilitating the movement of goods.”
The upgrade will bring Belleville Terminal into compliance with the Canada-U.S. Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance Agreement. Using pre-clearance, travellers will complete the U.S. customs and immigration process in Victoria and enjoy the convenience of disembarking in the United States with no further delays.
As an international gateway for goods, services, and passengers, the new terminal will help drive regional and provincial economic growth. Travellers spend approximately $174 million annually, generating $268 million in economic output and $155 million in provincial gross domestic product.
Belleville Terminal is on the territory of the Lekwungen peoples and the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. The Province is working collaboratively with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations to identify opportunities to showcase the cultural and geographical significance of the project’s location in Victoria’s Inner Harbour and welcome visitors into Lekwungen territory.
The project will incorporate the highest energy-efficiency and resiliency standards for a changing climate. The new all-electric terminal building will include mass-timber components and renewable materials to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate site contamination, meeting LEED Gold standards and supporting government’s CleanBC emissions-reduction commitments.
Chief Ron Sam, Songhees Nation –
“Songhees Nation’s partnership in the Belleville Terminal redevelopment project opens a door of immense opportunities and growth for our community. This partnership is not just about physical space, but about fostering cultural exchange, economic empowerment and community development. It is an affirmation of our shared commitment to build bridges, honour our heritage and create a better future for our people, and together, we will harness the power of collaboration and create a vibrant space that celebrates our traditions, uplifts our voices and nurtures the well-being of our Nation.”
Chief Rob Thomas, Esquimalt Nation –
“We are pleased to be partnering with British Columbia and Canada in this exciting project. The Belleville Terminal is located on one of the village sites of the Lekwungen people. Our inclusion in the design, construction and operation of the new terminal is evidence of the critical role our Nation plays and will play in the future development of the Victoria area. It is a long-overdue acknowledgment of our existence and our rights, and we look forward to jointly building a better future for all residents within our traditional lands”.
Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
“Visitors from around the world come to B.C. to enjoy our world-class tourism offerings and many of them arrive in Victoria by ferry via the Belleville Terminal. The redevelopment of the terminal is just one way our government is working with our tourism partners to enhance visitors’ experiences, create more opportunities for people working in this sector and include new ways for Indigenous communities to share and showcase their culture and artistry in B.C.’s tourism sector.”
Marianne Alto, mayor of Victoria –
“This is a transformational project that delivers on council’s priority for our city’s economic health and community vitality. Our immense thanks to both the provincial and federal governments for their investment in critical infrastructure supporting diverse tourism and service jobs across the region.”
Denny Heck, Lieutenant Governor of Washington –
“Washington state is excited this important project to modernize the Belleville Terminal is moving forward. I appreciate the governments of British Columbia, Canada and all their partners for leaning in to make this happen. This project ensures that the peoples and economies of British Columbia and Washington state will continue to be deeply integrated with one another, which makes all our lives richer.”
Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria –
“We are delighted by the announcement of this critical infrastructure project that will future-proof and propel forward the visitor economy in Greater Victoria. We are grateful to the Province, the Government of Canada, the partner ferry operators and the many industry leaders who worked on this file for the past three decades. I would like to particularly thank Minister Fleming for his determination to bring this file to a successful conclusion.”
- The first phase of the project, anticipated to be complete in 2024, will build a temporary terminal in the Steamship Building and a new wharf to accommodate FRS Clipper and US Customs and Border Protection.
- The Canada Border Services Agency and Black Ball ferry operations will continue to use the existing spaces, ramps and vehicle areas.
- The second phase will demolish the existing FRS Clipper terminal infrastructure, replacing it with a LEED Gold pre-clearance terminal.
- The second phase, which will begin following completion of the first phase, also includes a new commercial goods processing facility.
- Belleville Terminal generates 220,000 overnight visitors and enables the ferry operators to sell more than 16,000 vacation packages annually, all of which are provided by local businesses in Victoria.
- The current Belleville Terminal supports 2,200 regional jobs.
Belleville Project website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/bellevilleterminal