In the upper Gorge, close to the entrance to Portage Inlet, the primary land use is residential. There are also a number of parks and public walkways along the Gorge that are highly valued by local residents and visitors. Several community celebrations are now held along the Gorge each year, and in 2012 the first annual Gorge Swim Fest was held, attracting hundreds of people. This has re-kindled interest in swimming in the Gorge and in continuing to improve water quality along this treasured waterway.
Recreational boating has become very popular once again along the Gorge. Kayaks, canoes, rowing sculls, dragon boats and paddle boards are common sights up and down the waterway. International boating festivals and several regattas are regularly held on the Gorge. A fleet of small harbour ferries carry commuters and tourists to several public ferry docks along the waterway as far as the Gorge Narrows.
Many of the former industrial sites in the Selkirk Water area in the lower Gorge have been replaced with residential housing. The Selkirk train trestle has been converted to a pedestrian and cycle bridge that forms part of the popular Galloping Goose multi-use trail. Ship repair and other industries in Victoria Harbour may still affect the water quality of the Gorge, but the main pollution concerns now are from non-point sources such as run-off from the large proportion of impervious surfaces (roofs, roads, parking lots, etc) in the watersheds that drain to the waterway.