Build Back Victoria: A Path to Re-opening and Recovery

The City has implemented a number of initiatives to support local businesses and the community to reopen and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including $575,000 in economic stimulus grants.

The new initiatives will give restaurants and businesses the opportunity to expand their patios, and services on sidewalks, streets and neighbourhood squares and plazas. Parks will also be opened up for approved business use, such as outdoor yoga and fitness classes. Applications open up Monday, June 8Read the guidelines and apply

Government Street will be transformed into a pedestrian priority zone from Humboldt Street to Yates Street. 

“We are unleashing the creativity of our community to build back by opening up space for businesses to expand while meeting social distancing requirements. These sweeping new programs are informed by what we have heard from businesses, artists and community groups for what’s needed for recovery right now,” said Mayor Lisa Helps.

In addition to the temporary flex space for businesses, the City has created 14 mobile vending stalls throughout neighbourhoods to allow food trucks and other mobile businesses to operate. Businesses can also apply for special customer pickup and delivery zones in front of or near their locations.

Those businesses already serving alcohol in their day-to-day operations were given additional freedom by Council to open patios with alcohol service. The Province remains responsible for certain aspects of enforcement in regard to food and liquor inspections.

Council has approved a new Everyday Creativity Grant Program to increase access for everyone to be creative and enjoy the arts. A total of $125,000 is available and grants would encourage applicants to provide new creative programs to engage citizens in the arts and encourage broad participation and learning opportunities. Criteria and availability will be determined at an upcoming Council meeting.

Another motion was passed to allocate an additional $100,000 to the current round, as well as a $250,000 second round of Strategic Plan Grants to unleash the creativity of the community by encouraging them to bring forward their project proposals for how the community can continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Council will review the proposals that have a specific focus on recovery and the deadline for submissions is July 15, 2020. An additional $100,000 was added to the My Great Neighbourhood COVID-19 grant stream that’s focused on community recovery and resiliency.

Read the Build Back Victoria Backgrounder.

Build Back Victoria Virtual Town Hall

The community is invited to learn more about what’s planned and ask questions at the Build Back Victoria Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, June 9 from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m., which will be webcast live and live streamed on the City’s Facebook page.

“We’re really proud of the work staff have done to be bold and ambitious to Build Back Victoria. We’re excited to share it with the community, so we ‘re hoping people join us and ask questions,” said Helps.

There are three ways to participate: 1) ask your question by emailing it in advance to to have it read aloud, 2) email to pre-register to participate by phone, or 3) watch the Virtual Town Hall on the City’s Facebook page and ask your question live.

The deadline to email the City is noon on Tuesday, June 9. All questions will be limited to one minute in length to enable the maximum number of people to participate. 

Join us for the Build Back Victoria Virtual Town Hall