Government Street for People This Summer

Starting today, Government Street between Humboldt Street and View Street will be transformed into a new pedestrian priority zone to support the Build Back Victoria program. The street will be closed to vehicle traffic between noon and 10 p.m., seven days a week, to provide additional space for pedestrians to stroll, shop and enjoy the multiple outdoor patios.

Private and commercial vehicles will have access to Government Street every evening from 10 p.m. until noon the following day. New passenger and commercial loading zones as well as accessible parking stalls are installed on and adjacent to the corridor. Loading zones on Government Street are available for commercial deliveries until noon, with 24 hour access for Emergency Vehicles. The 900 block of Government Street will remain open to vehicles 24 hours a day to maintain vehicle circulation during the Customs House Construction.

“Build Back Victoria is about supporting businesses to recover from the pandemic and creating more pedestrian-friendly public spaces for people,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “A designated pedestrian priority zone on Government Street is a strategic priority of Council and will help increase foot traffic for businesses.”

New picnic tables, seating and planters have been installed throughout the corridor to create a welcoming experience for visitors and residents and to encourage slow vehicle speeds during hours when vehicles are permitted on Government Street. In addition, the street will have new artwork installations and pop-up surprise concerts featuring local talent to create a fun and vibrant environment. All road users are reminded to use caution and exercise patience as the new layout and daily closures come into effect.

“With patio culture in full swing downtown, the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) invites everyone to enjoy a vibrant Government Street as we emerge from a challenging time,” said Jeff Bray, the Executive Director of the DVBA.

The upcoming pedestrian priority zone changes will also be used to help the city design longer-term infrastructure changes in downtown Victoria. The City will be working with the DVBA to measure foot-traffic on Government Street over time and will be reporting out quarterly with a Downtown and Victoria Data Dashboard.

This spring and summer the City is making downtown parking easier by rolling out a faster, more convenient pay by space system to all City parkades and streamlining parkade parking rates to $2/hour. For more information visit victoria.ca/parkades

To view a map of the revised loading zones, and to learn more about the Build Back Victoria program, visit victoria.ca/BuildBackVictoria