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Amazing Places

Amazing Places

By Dean Murdock
Former municipal councillor Dean Murdock hosts a weekly podcast celebrating the amazing people and places in our communities
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#24 What the New Year brings w/ Judy Brownoff
Episode 24 of Amazing Places! This week Saanich Councillor Judy Brownoff joins the podcast to talk about what 2021 could bring. We cover the gamut with discussions about active transportation, climate change, age-friendly communities, parking requirements and meeting the growing need for housing in Saanich.
January 9, 2021
#23 Creating connections w/ Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff
Episode 23 of Amazing Places! This week Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff returns to the podcast to discuss loneliness. This holiday season is going to be different than years past. For those who live alone, it could feel very lonely. Teale and I discuss the effects of loneliness and isolation and things that communities, governments and NGOs can do to help rebuild networks to connect us.
December 13, 2020
#22 Speaking with a Collective Voice w/ Colin Plant
Episode 22 of Amazing Places! This week, CRD Board Chair and 2-term Saanich Councillor, Colin Plant joins the podcast. We discuss the region’s approach to climate change, transportation and pandemic response and recovery.
December 4, 2020
#21 Unleashing the City’s potential w/ Lisa Helps
Episode 21 of Amazing Places! City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps joins us this week. Mayor Helps says it’s the job of city governments to create places where people feel like they belong. We talk about active transportation, creating well-being, pandemic patios, downtown holiday shopping and becoming a 21st Century city.
November 27, 2020
#20 Building compact, mixed-use communities w/ Luke Mari, Julian West and Ryan Jabs
Episode 20 of Amazing Places! This week, we talk to the builders in our communities. Community leaders espouse car-free, transit and active transporation-oriented development. What are the barriers to making it happen in our urban and suburban centres? Luke Mari, Aryze Developments; Julian West, Urban Thrive; and Ryan Jabs, Lapis Homes join the podcast to talk about building compact, mixed-used communities that's geared toward sustainable mobility options like transit and active transportation. 
November 20, 2020
#19 Buying local this holiday season w/ Jeff Bray, Caitlynn Neal & Katrina Dwulit
Episode 19 of Amazing Places! The holiday season is nearly upon us. This year, things look quite different for our holiday plans. What can we do to support local businesses? This week my guests are Jeff Bray, Exec Director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association; Caitlynn Neal, Founder of the YYJ Craft Crawl; and Katrina Dwulit, coordinator of the Market Collective by Shi Studio. Check out the YYJ Craft Crawl: Market Collective by Shi Studio: I recorded the Intro theme. Transition themes are courtesy of
November 13, 2020
#18 Cycling in our cities w/ Ray Straatsma and Corey Burger
Episode 18 of Amazing Places! This week, Ray Straatsma and Corey Burger, two prominent local cycling advocates, join us to discuss Greater Victoria's growing cycling network and why creating safe spaces for cyclists to ride is crucial to our commuting future. Ray Straatsma is a Board Director of the BC Cycling Coalition. Corey Burger is Policy and Infrastructure Chair of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition. Intro theme: That's me on guitar. Thanks for putting up with it!
November 7, 2020
#17 High cost of free parking w/ Todd Litman
Episode 17 of Amazing Places! This week, Todd Litman, Executive Director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute joins the podcast to talk about the hidden costs of free parking. There's no such thing as free parking. Whether it's the added construction costs of underground parking or the spot outside your house, parking costs add up. Check out Todd's work at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute Cities for Everyone is a community organization that supports more affordable housing and transportation in order to provide security, mobility and opportunity for people with all incomes and abilities. Intro Theme: Yep, that's me playing guitar. Thought I'd try something new. Hope you enjoy it.
October 30, 2020
#16 Slower speeds for Saanich streets w/ Rebecca Mersereau
Episode 16 of Amazing Places! This week first-term Saanich Councillor Rebecca Mersereau joins the podcast. We discuss Saanich's request to reduce speeds for neighbourhood streets as part of a provincial pilot project. Slower speeds save lives, promote active transportation and helps contribute to affordability in an expensive region. Check out Councillor Mersereau's bio: Check out the news story on the reduced speeds pilot: Intro theme courtesy of
October 25, 2020
#15 South Island Transportation w/ David Screech
Episode 15 of Amazing Places! How do we solve the region's transportation challenges?  This week my guest is View Royal Mayor David Screech. We discuss  improving transportation in the South Island, including better transit service, E&N and Light Rail, and regional trails. Check out Mayor Screech's bio: Intro theme courtesy of
October 25, 2020
#14 BC Election on the South Island w/ Dan Reeve and Travis Paterson
A special BC Election episode of Amazing Places! This week, my guests are Dan Reeve, Political Science Instructor at Camosun College, and Travis Paterson, Reporter at Black Press. We take a look at the parties' major policy announcements and the issues that affect the South Island: Homelessness, transportation, and housing (among others). What will voters decide to do on October 24? Intro theme courtesy of
October 25, 2020
#13 Right of Way w/ Angie Schmitt
Episode 13 of Amazing Places! This week my guest is Angie Schmitt, Author of Right of Way: Race, Class and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America. Angie encourages us to reframe the problem of pedestrian deaths and serious injury by acknowledging the role of racism and classism in the public response to these deaths, and energizing advocacy around road safety. You can check out Angie's book here: Listeners can receive a 20% discount with the code SCHMITT when ordering directly from the publisher. Special thanks to Neil Arason for connecting us with Angie. Check out Neil's book, No Accident: Eliminating Injury and Death on Canadian Roads Intro theme courtesy of
October 25, 2020
#12 Creating a diversity of housing options w/ Andrew Appleton
Episode 12 of Amazing Places! This week, Oak Bay Councillor Andrew Appleton joins us to discuss housing in Oak Bay. Oak Bay’s a great place to live but it can be tough to find affordable housing options for newcomers. Council recently approved the community's first legal duplex. What can Oak Bay do to create more housing options to keep the community thriving? Here's the story on the Oak Bay duplex: Here's Councillor Appleton's bio: Intro theme courtesy of
October 25, 2020
#11 Creating Happiness w/ Mitchell Reardon
Episode 11 of the Amazing Places! This week, we talk to Mitchell Reardon, Senior Planner at the Happy City consultancy. The Happy City book inspired a movement in communities all over the world. Creating happier places by rethinking public and private spaces for everyone to access and enjoy. We discuss the Happy City's approach and reaction to its many ventures in creating happiness in our cities, towns, villages and districts. Check out the Happy City You can read this great book by their founder, Charles Montgomery Intro theme courtesy of
October 25, 2020
#10 Ahead of its time - Colwood's Ocean Blvd experiment w/ Gordie Logan
Episode 10 of Amazing Places! This week, long-time Colwood City Councillor Gordie Logan joins the podcast. We discuss that City's temporary closure of Ocean Boulevard to vehicle traffic. The move inspired scores of families, visitors and even food trucks to descend on the newly-opened pedestrian-only space. Why then did Council voted to re-open the road in mid-September? We find out this week, on the Amazing Places. Check out the story here: Here's Gordie's bio: Intro theme courtesy of
October 25, 2020
#9 We're in the driver's seat! How can we eliminate injury and death on our roads? w/ Neil Arason
Episode nine of the Amazing Places! This week Neil Arason, author of No Accident: Eliminating Injury and Death on Canadian Roads joins the podcast to discuss road safety for all road users. We take a look at proposed changes to Prospect Lake rd, discuss why slower speeds save lives, and how communities can achieve Vision Zero. Here's the story on the changes to Prospect Lake rd: Check out Neil's Book: Intro theme courtesy of
October 25, 2020
#8 Be bold! Re-leveling our streets as public space w/ Patrick Johnstone
Episode eight of the Amazing Places! This week two-term New Westminster City Councillor Patrick Johnstone joins the podcast. We take a look at some of initiatives that community is trying to re-level the balance between car use and other users for public space in the City. Find out more about what Patrick and his colleagues are up to: Intro theme courtesy of
October 24, 2020
#7 Cheers! Celebrating Greater Victoria's Craft Beer Culture w/ Cora Barber, Gary Lindsay, Ryan Orr and Dave Dickson
Episode seven of the Amazing Places! A special episode celebrating Greater Victoria’s craft beer culture. This week our guests are Cora Barber from Lighthouse, Gary Lindsay from Driftwood, Ryan Orr from Sooke Ocean Brewery (SOB) and Dave Dickson from Hoyne. The brewers discuss supporting their communities, the support they get from their communities, a future for patios and more tasting space, and what makes Greater Victoria’s craft beer culture so special. Intro theme courtesy of
October 24, 2020
#6 A little bit quirky! Placemaking in our communities w/ Michelle Mulder
Episode six on the Amazing Places! This week, Michelle Mulder, author of Home Sweet Neighbourhood: Transforming Cities One Block at a Time, joins the podcast to discuss Placemaking in Greater Victoria and around the world. From small, low-cost changes in your neighbourhood to large infrastructure projects, Placemaking transforms places to draw people together. Check out Michelle's book: You can also check out Michelle's website: Intro theme courtesy of
October 24, 2020
#5 The future is local w/ Thomas Guerrero
Episode 5 of the Amazing Places podcast! Greater Victoria's response to COVID-19 has produced many changes. Some of which may have lasting effects. In this episode, Thomas Guerrero of Sidewalking Victoria joins the podcast to discuss the new urbanism that's emerging. Is this the end of Commuter Culture? Are mandatory parking minimums a thing of the past? You can find Sidewalking Victoria here: Or on Twitter: And on Instagram: Even on Facebook: Here's a news story about Edmonton's decision to scrap parking minimums: And here's one about New Zealand: Intro theme courtesy of
October 24, 2020
#4 Walkable communities w/ Alix Tier
Episode 4 of the Amazing Places! Does creating more walkable neighbourhoods really have to be a war on the car? This week, Alix Tier from BEST - Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, joins the podcast to discuss Living Streets. We look at small, affordable changes communities can make to improve walkability for pedestrians and make life a little better for all users. Be sure to take the Living Streets survey to win a prize! Intro theme courtesy of
October 24, 2020
#3 Urban green spaces w/ Ned Taylor
Episode 3 of the Amazing Places podcast! We know about the importance of parks and green spaces for our health and well-being, and as places for people to get together or seek refuge and solitude. Should that include food trucks and alcohol? In this episode, Saanich Councillor Ned Taylor joins the podcast to discuss changes to Saanich's parks to make them more dynamic places. We also touch on creating new, "pocket parks" in places where green spaces are lacking. Intro theme courtesy of
October 24, 2020
#2 Just try it! Will pilot projects define the new normal? w/ Travis Paterson
Episode 2 of Amazing Places! Will the loss of 4 parking spots put Oak Bay shops out of business? Patios replace parking in Fernwood. Will pilot projects define the new normal? Black Press Report Travis Paterson joins the podcast this week to share his perspective on what's going on for shop owners and patrons in Oak Bay and Fernwood. Check out Travis's article here: Intro theme courtesy of
October 24, 2020
#1 Re-imagining our public spaces w/ Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff
Episode 1 of Amazing Places! My first guest is Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff. Give up parking for patios? Expand trails for “social cycling?” We discuss the "new normal" and repurposing our public spaces. You can check out our Times Colonist Op-Ed here: Intro theme courtesy of
October 24, 2020