June 12 - Downtown business owners not happy

Plus Vic gets on a list with NYC, Seattle and Toronto

Good morning !

A report to be released today suggests one in five (19.3%) of downtown business owners gives the downtown core a failing grade. That’s the highest percentage since the Downtown Victoria Business Association began surveying its members. “Alarming” is the word the association used to describe its findings.


Today’s approx. read time: 6 minutes

🌡️ Weather Forecast

Today: 🌤️ 16 / 9

Tomorrow: ☀️ 19 / 10

Friday: 🌦️ 17 / 8


1 in 5 downtown businesses says it’s bad enough to leave: DVBA report

Downtown Victoria. Photo: Flickr

A report on the status of businesses in the downtown core suggests serious challenges—from parking to crime—could prompt some businesses to leave.

“There is a myriad of indicators that downtown Victoria’s economy is healthy,” the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) annual report said, citing thriving tourism, marine, and tech sectors, and more housing development anticipated. However, almost one in five (19%) business respondents to the membership survey said they were unhappy with what they see downtown.

“It continues to be sort of a tale of two downtowns,” Jeff Bray, DVBA executive director, tells Capital Daily. “There's lots of good stuff happening economically. Notwithstanding that, 20% of businesses gave it a failing grade to do business—that should be alarming.”

When asked to grade the downtown core as a place of business, 28% of business owners gave it a B+; 53% said B, C+, or C; and 19% went with a D or F. 

According to the report, the failing grade was fuelled by small- and medium-sized businesses' reliance on locals as customers, a perception that downtown Victoria is becoming a little dodgy—maybe even dull—and an old nemesis: finding parking. The report said two-thirds of downtown business customers come from within the CRD and if those customers don’t want to go downtown, those businesses will feel the pinch.

“Victorians’ belief that downtown is unclean, unsafe, boring, or otherwise not worth visiting, impacts downtown businesses,” the report said. “Additionally, we need people from Sooke to Sidney to be able to easily get into downtown (including by car) and find parking.”

⚠️ Capital Bulletin

Missing Island teen: Madison Waterhouse, 13, was last seen Sat. in Campbell River.

Cancelled: Trees Talk: A Conversation with Suzanne Simard

Willows Beach swimming areas are closed. [Oak Bay advisory]

Call to artists: Commercial Alley Art Gallery. Display your art, get $4K.

Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google.


Victoria joins cross-border project to cut commercial buildings’ emissions

Jawl Properties and Concert Properties’ Capital Park redevelopment. Photo: HDR

Victoria has joined New York, Toronto, and other North American cities to make commercial buildings more energy-efficient.

The idea behind the District 2030 Network is to create high-performance building districts worldwide by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So far, Victoria is the only BC city to take part.

The built environment—buildings, roads, parks, and other human construction—is responsible for 39% of global C02 emissions, 33% of global waste, and nearly 50% of all extracted materials. 

Victoria was one of the first BC  governments to adopt the highest level of the province’s Zero Carbon Step Code to limit greenhouse gas emissions in new buildings. Its membership in the District 2030 Network helps to accelerate and reinforce that standard.  

“Cities can’t make their climate action targets alone,” Cora Hallsworth, director of Greater Victoria 2030 District tells Capital Daily.

The district includes 48 buildings, covering more than four million square feet. Notable participants include Tillicum Centre and the Capital Park redevelopment.


Andrew Wilkinson showcases 'Never Enough' in exclusive book launch event at Bolen Books

Join local entrepreneur and investor Andrew Wilkinson on July 9, 7pm at Bolen Books at The Hillside Shopping Centre for the launch of his debut memoir, Never Enough: From Barista to Billionaire. This will be the first public reading from Andrew’s highly anticipated memoir, detailing his journey from college dropout to tech investor and businessman.

Once a barista in a small café making $6.50 an hour, Andrew Wilkinson built a business valued at over a billion dollars by the time he was 36—and yet, his path to success was anything but a straight line. It’s a tale of unrelenting ambition, unexpected lessons, and the pursuit of something greater than wealth. 

No matter if you're a budding entrepreneur or just fascinated by genuine tales of triumph, we invite you to join us for this engaging dialogue. 

⭐️ Capital Picks

🍁Canada Day lineup announced. City of Victoria

🎼 Last call! Final chance before For All to Hear concert and auction closes. Don't miss your opportunity to bid on extraordinary items supporting Pacific Opera Victoria!*

🐳 Orcas at Ogden: See photos of J and L Pod members swimming near Ogden Point and watch the video of them meandering near Trial Island. [Photos/Video]

🤝 Now hiring: Organizing Coordinator 1 at Dogwood.

*Sponsored Listing

🗞️ In Other News

Correction: Yesterday’s newsletter referred to syphilis as a virus. It is a bacterial infection. Capital Daily regrets this error.

Coroners inquest to be held for Victoria man shot by police
Christopher Jonathan Bloomfield was shot by RCMP in Mill Bay in 2018, after moving toward an officer with a knife. The BC Coroners Service (BCCS) will review his death and hear from witnesses, starting July 2. The BCCS must review all deaths involving the police. [BCCS]

Spirit of British Columbia out of service
The BC Ferries vessel is expected back in service by Sat. after its stern-tube seal and bow-thruster blade seals are repaired in Esquimalt. The Coastal Renaissance will fill in this week. [Times Colonist

Vic High students bear sprayed in Fernwood
It happened Mon. off campus, a letter to parents from the school said. The students who were exposed received minor medical attention and will be offered counselling. VicPD made an arrest. [CHEK]

🗓️ Things to do

👠 Jimbo's Drag Circus: The Victoria-based drag queen and winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars will host this drag show at the Royal Theatre. Today. 8pm. [Info]

 🍷 Wine in the Courtyard: Cork & Barrel Spirit Merchants is hosting a wine, beer, and spirit tasting in the Athlone Court courtyard during the Oak Bay Summer Market. Today. 4-8pm. [Info]

🎵 Music at Ship Point: Standard Issue Pleasure Model will perform psychedelic rock music. Today. 5-6pm. [City Vibe]

🎥 Desert Hearts at Cinecenta: The 1980s Donna Deitch film will be shown at the UVic theatre. Today. 5pm and 7pm. [Info]

👟 Victoria Track Classic: See runners, including those aiming for a Team Canada spot, at Centennial Stadium at UVic. Tonight. 6pm. [Info]

🌛 Oak Bay Night Market: The monthly market will take over Oak Bay Avenue, with local vendors selling fresh produce, artisan crafts, and art. Tonight. 4-8pm. [Free]

🍨 Victoria Italian Day: Experience a taste of Italy in Victoria, food, live music, cars, demos, gelato and more! Da Vinci Centre on Bay. Sun. June 23 1-5pm. [Info]

🎶 An Evening with MaMuse and the Gettin' Higher Choir: The 25th fundraiser for Mozambique through The Caia Connection. Alix Goolden Performance Hall. Fri. 7-9:30pm. [Info]

🎞️ The Sidney Museum & Archives and the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board are hosting a film screening of two W̱SÁNEĆ productions: the animated short, ṮEṮÁĆES, and the film ĆELÁṈEN TŦE ṮEṮÁĆES followed by a discussion and questions with Elders. Sidney Museum. Mon. June 17. 10am. [Info]

Want more events? Subscribe to This Week In Vic and get our weekly events newsletter every Tuesday.

👀 In Case You Missed It

Tuesday’s headlines: Rutledge Park gets upgrades; UVic researchers working on syphilis vaccine; Kayakers rescued east of the Island; And more. [Jun. 11

Victoria swim team to relay around North Pender Island. [Capital Daily

Jeopardy! answer is [What is] the Empress Hotel?

Accessibility beach mat installed for the summer at Ross Bay.

Know how to turn off utilities in emergencies.

Construction along Island Hwy for RapidBus service starts June 24. [BC Transit]

Lawn-watering restrictions (Stage 1) continue through to Sept. 30.

Black bear on peninsula tranquilized and relocated. Saanich News

That’s it!

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