Big changes are coming to Government Street, following the participation of more than 700 residents in an online forum and a survey and approval by Victoria Council.
On July 14, City staff and design consultants presented a draft design and implementation strategy for Council’s consideration at a Committee of the Whole meeting.
Two weeks later, on July 28, the city council considered the concept design and implementation strategy for adoption at a daytime council meeting, ultimately approving the redesign plan.
The change follows a multi-phase government street refresh plan, which involved businesses, community stakeholders, the public and First Nations representatives to help develop a vision and conceptual design to improve Government Street. .
In March, the City of Victoria sought public comment on its draft plan to refresh Government Streetenhancing a streetscape that hasn’t changed in nearly 50 years.
See more : The City of Victoria is seeking public comment on proposed changes to Government Street
According to the city, more than 700 residents participated in the first phase of the project, sharing their ideas in an online forum and survey.
Expanded pedestrian zones, additional accessible seating, improved lighting and more have been envisioned for one of Victoria’s most iconic and well-known streets.
Currently, Government Street faces aging infrastructure – street furniture, trees, traffic lights, sidewalks, road surfaces and more that will need to be replaced in the years to come.
The draft plan proposed two new “cultural plazas” with landmarks to serve as walkways – one at Humboldt Street, the other at Pandora Street.
And while extended pedestrian zones and “timed car-free zones” are included in the scheme, the city noted that bicycles, pedicabs and horse-drawn carriages will still be welcome.
The project called for the incorporation of public art, as well as more space for restaurant terraces and store fronts along Government Street.
There are also plans to extend the character of the street north between Yates and Pandora streets, without impacting two-way vehicular traffic, parking or loading areas, the city said.
In May 2022, The City of Victoria received $750,000 in funding to enhance a popular downtown street, with the aim of attracting more tourists, visitors and new businesses.