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

UVic student killed in bus crash remembered as passionate, kind

Emma Machado, 18, killed in bus crash near Bamfield on Friday

Oak Bay approves subdivision for lot that houses Maclure-designed heritage home

Mansion-style Blair Gowie house famous for its design and historical connection with Butchart family

MLA Andrew Weaver thins workload after illness, full recovery expected

BC Green Party leader felt symptoms at a public event in Langley, and was taken to hospital

Golfer aims for hole-in-one to raise cash for Victoria Hospice

Fundraiser event hits Highland Pacific Golf Course Sept. 17

UPDATE: One man dies in Saanich collision

Police are asking people to avoid the intersection at Cumberland and Union roads

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Two Nanaimo residents share $5-million Lotto 6/49 prize

Jesse Logan and Teresa Winters Day matched all six numbers in Aug. 21 Lotto 6/49 draw

Island campground on the chopping block as ALC deadline looms

Owners fighting to continue facility’s operation, with a huge outpouring of support

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Most Read