Jeff Bray is the executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. (rickcollinsphotography.com)

Report highlights a growing and vibrant downtown

Jeff Bray

Downtown Victoria Business Association

For the past few years, there has been a strong sense that downtown Victoria is thriving. Now we have the data to prove it.

The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) recently released our first annual Report on Downtown. We commissioned this report to create a fact-based, data-driven portrait of downtown. We used available data from several sources which included a detailed survey of our downtown business members.

Here are some of the results:

q 73% of our members give downtown a B or better as a place for their business;

q 67% of our members feel that the overall business climate has either remained stable or improved;

q 77% of our members indicated that they are experiencing growth or are intending to expand their business.

All of this speaks to a strong and vibrant downtown economy.

The data shows some of this strong economic activity is driven by the growth in residential development within the urban core.

We have 1,700 rental and condo units under construction with just under 800 of them expected to be completed in 2019. People are choosing to move and live downtown. There is now a growing community of residents who view downtown Victoria as their neighbourhood.

Tourism continues to be a driving force and there’s a growing sector of high-tech companies in downtown. This is beneficial to downtown businesses, both retail and restaurants.

Our DVBA first annual report ensures the ongoing narrative about downtown is fact based. Sometimes I hear comments like, “Businesses are struggling, many of the stores are closing up,” or “there is no parking because of the bike lanes.” Our annual report data tells us that we have a near record low retail vacancy rate of 4.1%.

As of the writing of this report, downtown has 6,800 parking spots. According to City officials, 55 were lost due to bike lanes. Using data from our annual report, I can speak factually to the issues, and dispel some of the myths that may exist about downtown.

Downtown Victoria is vibrant and alive – however, there are some challenges.

Parking availability and the cost of parking are the top two factors impacting our business members. Cleanliness and safety were also identified as concerns. These areas are where the Downtown Victoria Business Association will work with the City, property owners, our business members, and other key stakeholder groups to improve the downtown environment.

For example, by identifying real-time parking availability, we can improve the visitor experience. And, by focusing on improving the downtown streetscape, people will be able to see what a beautiful downtown we truly have.

To view the full annual report, go to dvba.ca/report.

Jeff Bray is the executive director for the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read