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The Victoria Economy Thread


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#1 Bernard

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:46 PM

Given that we have a city with housing prices out of the this world and a VERY tight rental market;

given that we have much higher Canadian dollar versus the American and our tourism business have been hit hard;

given that our local governments are both difficult for business to deal with, working at cross purposes to each other, and seem desperate for more jobs;

where do people think the economy of Greater Victoria is going?

#2 UrbanRail

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 06:34 PM

its hard to say, but i know one things for certain, we are going to have to be more sustainable, focus on more locally produced items, especially food (look at gas prices). Look for ways to help those who are barely affording housing here and there are several examples of this that have been successful. How many people can afford to live on only $10 an hour. I make $12 an hour and I am still living pay cheque to pay cheque, although I do have a house that I am part owner of. We ship most if not all of our recycling materials to the mainland, imagine the jobs created if we remanufactured these items here then shipped the finished product to the mainland. We shouldnt be relying on a total service economy.

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#3 Caramia

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 07:32 PM

I'm not participating in the gleeful doom and gloom that some folk seem to enjoy.

To me the economic softening represents an opportunity to see housing prices fall. The tourists were great for their bucks, but a scourge on our culture, and often pushed the sloppier citizens out of their way - or worse, encouraged those who were making a buck off them to do so. Our local governments may be stuck in some ways, but in other ways I do see progress, change and cooperation emerging.

I've recently been part of a massive fund raising effort for a cause that many see as practical, result-oriented, and sensible. What I've witnessed is people digging into deep pockets to make a difference. I've witnessed a type of wealth that has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with spirit. I've seen a Victoria that really is a community, where the degrees of separation can often be measured in decimal values instead of integers.

Having lived in areas of the world where hard times were really actually hard, I view this city as charmed... one of the most coddled, protected places on earth. I was here, and participating in the hardest and worst of what Victoria had to offer back in the days where things were actually tough here. Even then, even when most of downtown was a wasteland, and there were no jobs, we had it better than most. This place will be one of the least and last to crumble under the coming tides.

#4 Victorianfire

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 11:44 PM

Victorians are mostly living pay cheque to pay cheque. Canada and America will be one...NA union and many people cant afford to live on only $10 an hour so most of the Canadians will go down south to work...now in the world the food and gas prices will make many people poor desperate and Victoria worse:mad:Euro union seem desperate now...

#5 Caramia

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 08:35 AM

That makes me think... during the 90s when the economy here sucked and there were no jobs, my circle of friends and I all lived in big old communal houses - sharing everything to get by. It has only been in the last few years of economic glut and labour shortage that we've all got places of our own.

I wonder if hard times coming will cause people to go back to sharing, and how much of the pressure on the rental market will change if so.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#6 G-Man

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:06 AM

^ I don't think that it will go back to the economy of the 90's. If anything Victoria is far better positioned with higher paying jobs to do better than now.

Everyone with a salary or hourly job lives paycheque to paycheque you just have to budget. I think people say paycheque to paycheque but what they mean is earnings and expenses are equal.

#7 yodsaker

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:31 AM

Wither (sic) indeed!
So many of the really nice places to live in the world are also really hard places to make a living. Menial jobs and high prices are a nasty combo. I don't like the dependence on the tourist industry either, but it does have a big ripple effect in a small city and has helped bring a lot of fresh money rather than re-cycling tax money through government.
With the cross-border hassles, Victoria has to market itself differently in different places beyond the U.S. Things aren't going to get better just by depending on that market.
They should be selling glorious, near-pristine nature to millions of newly-prosperous Asians who live in crowded countries with poor access to nature.

#8 G-Man

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 11:50 AM

^ I think we sell too much nature and should play up the small city urban experience. Tourism could double its current market by encouraging daytrippers to stay a night or two and enjoy the city.

Also we need to ecourage some more high tech. Really the city should be trying to bring in a big corporate head office through taxbreaks or land grants so that there would be a good strong stabilizer for that sector. We can't rely on local startups alone.

#9 Caramia

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 11:59 AM

I agree - I see Asia as our natural partner - not just as tourists but also as trading partners. We have a wonderful Asian population here, and some amazing connections that can be made through them. I know that the market over there is volatile but if we use our connections well I think we have a huge untapped resource there.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#10 spanky123

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 12:38 PM

Although we like to play up tech as the future of the city, there is a dirty little secret that people don't want you to know about. ALL of the larger tech companies in Victoria started as small fry who grew up. Most then sold and many then wind up leaving.

Other than to fill a Government contract requirement, I am not aware of any tech company of any size that has actually moved to Victoria.

#11 Zimquats

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 12:59 PM

^^

Reliable Controls.

www.reliablecontrols.com

#12 yodsaker

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:30 PM

I agree - I see Asia as our natural partner - not just as tourists but also as trading partners. We have a wonderful Asian population here, and some amazing connections that can be made through them. I know that the market over there is volatile but if we use our connections well I think we have a huge untapped resource there.


I spend time in southeast Asia every year and I see countries like Thailand and Malaysia devoting serious marketing dollars to luring Chinese, Korean and Japanese families. Malaysia and Thailand have great nature attractions while Korea, Japan and China have huge large urban centres where nature is found in the dictionary under 'n'.
In terms of "untapped resource", we are very late to the party and I've observed little CDN presence beyond ESL teachers.

#13 Victorianfire

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 07:28 AM

Canada and Victoria needs a good Government. Victorians have not a life and Victoria is really a hard place to make a living in America- mostly earnings and expenses are equal. I see Asia not just as tourists and as trading partners but in changing the future of the city... Victoria to a southeast Asia. Victorians are now mostly as Asians and less as Americans and Europeans. Chinese and most Asians who live in crowded countries with poor access to nature ... during the 90s were moving and taking over Canada and America. Asians are now changing the future of all Canada as in the southeast Asia. Canadians will be all Asians in 2012.

#14 Victorianfire

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 08:00 AM

All population of the world have a hard time...have not a life .... earnings and expenses are equal or less and the world is mostly poor and now it needs a good world Government but most people think that a bad one of the doom and gloom is taking over. Asia and U.S. or Americas future will change and tell .... the future of the world. :rolleyes:

#15 spanky123

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 02:30 PM

^^

Reliable Controls.

www.reliablecontrols.com


Hugh started reliable in Victoria 15 years ago as an offshoot of Accutemp.

#16 groundlevel

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:13 AM

aw jeez, I wander down for coffee after changing out of my running clothes, crack open the newspaper (hardcopy so satisfying) and hum along to the news right up to page A7.

what ought to be on the front page is a tiny column that starts off talking about the "ruptured U.S. financial system" facing "an unprecedented shakeup". Merrill Lynch has filed for Bankrupcy, the Federal Reserve said for the first time in its history it will accept stocks in exchange for cash loans, 10 of the world's biggest banks agreed yesterday ("on a black Sunday for Wall Street") to establish a $70 billion emergency fund, with any one of them able to tap up to a third of that; troubled insurer American International Group asked the Federal Reserve for a lifeline; major bank CEOs and regulators have been meeting in the Fed's Manhattan building for three days straight, and one commentator says "The U.S. financial system is finding the tectonic plates underneath its foundation are shifting like they have never shifted before."

This thread is focusing on the Victoria and South Island economy -- what if those holes in the ground/demolition sites where nothing is being built -- Pandora's Bambu; 700 block Yates, north side, 3 commercial lots; former Mayfair Lanes bowling alley property -- Great Canadian Superstore planning a store - on hold; Wison Street in Vic West -- the Wing's 4 & 6 story building -- stalled 4 years; Radius -- work halted, property up for sale; 1175 Beach Drivve -- hole formerly the Oak Bay Beach Hotel; Thetis Quay -- old Victoria Plywood site rezoned, construction yet to start; old gravel pit on Metchosin Road in Colwood -- Royal Bay not built in the pit and under agreement of sale. (data --Norman Gidney) are in extreme jepordy now, not just waiting for the most favourable winds?

I'm somewhere between worried and freaked.

#17 Caramia

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:53 AM

Yeah I echo those sentiments groundlevel.

I guess if there is one lesson we should learn from this - next time we have a favourable economic climate we need to focus our efforts on working with developers instead of against them, to streamline the process, and get as much valuable input from the community as possible, as quickly as possible, and get things built. We are going to have a few years now to get our ducks in a row - decide what we want, and where; to sort out our density bonusing; figure out what kind of demand we need to fill; decide how to make the big picture sustainable; and choose the corridors we want to zone to encourage LRT one day.

When good conditions come around again, we want to be ready to get our goals accomplished, and seize the day. Assuming that the conditions are here to stay and we have all the time in the world really backfired this time.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#18 aastra

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 04:13 PM

This is from a review of the Magnolia Hotel (keep in mind that these people say they're former residents of Victoria):

To some extent the hotel is a victim of its surroundings, and of the season. Victoria is very much a summer/tourist town, and therefore many of the shops around the hotel were either cheap tourist goods and/or going out of business. There is not much the hotel can do about this, but it just seemed like the city - and the hotel were slowly curling up to die. Rather than cozy the hotel just seemed QUIET.



#19 victorian fan

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 05:00 PM

defer property taxes
grow more vegetables
get some chickens again

Not quite yet.

#20 D.L.

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 08:15 PM

Anyone who thinks the city is dieing should walk the north side of the 500 block of Yates St.

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