Downtown Victoria, B.C. Gets a Thumbs Up on DVBA Report

With low retail and commercial vacancies, a diverse economy, a vibrant cultural scene and 620 condos under construction, downtown Victoria earns a high grade from DVBA members.

Downtown Victoria. Photo by Jo-Ann Loro.

Like many urban areas, Victoria’s city core has gone through highs and lows, but right now it’s doing well enough to have earned a B+ grade from the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) members surveyed for the organization’s First Annual Report on Downtown.

Of the DVBA’s 1,100 members, 400 responded to the survey. Asked about the overall business climate downtown, 62 per cent indicated they felt it had improved or remained stable, and 52 per cent indicated their businesses had experienced net profit growth of up to 25 per cent between 2017 and 2018. More than 25 per cent said they intend to expand their products, services or square footage in downtown Victoria.

Still, safety and security are top concerns. Indeed, VicPD statistics show downtown property crimes have gone up from 1,702 in 2017* to 2,860 in 2018. Violent crime is also up, from 126 incidents in 2017* to 216 incidents in 2018.

Parking availability is also ranked by survey respondents as one of the top four factors negatively impacting the vitality of their businesses, as is cost of parking and the public perception of a clean downtown.

These percentages represent the highest overall average rankings for issues identified by DVBA survey respondents.

This article is from the August/September 2019 issue of Douglas.