VibrantVictoria’s 2010 year in review part I
2010 was a busy year in the capital region and we here at VibrantVictoria tried to cover as much of the action as possible. Here are some of the highlights from the first six months of the year:
We started off the year with news of the delivery of the Johnson Street Bridge counter-petition. The controversial bridge replacement scheme would prove to be one of the hottest topics on VibrantVictoria’s discussion forum. A serious gas leak on the Point Ellice Bridge, was an event that served as a reminder of the vulnerability of our critical utilities infrastructure. There was optimism on Bear Mountain as word came that the on-hold Highlander condo might restart. The project remains stalled. Vibrant Victoria broke the story of a Downtown McDonald’s restaurant that tried to drive away loitering teens with a piercing sub-sonic whistle, later confirmed to be a Mosquito device.
The Greater Victoria Public Library’s plans to expand its services gave hope to those wanting a landmark downtown library, yet today those hopes seem more like an elusive fantasy. We saw the closure of a pioneer cocktail bar and the opening of two Downtown gay bars, while those staying at home could enjoy a new beer priced at just over a buck per can. In development news, Dave Chard and other builders showed that the market for new construction was getting stronger, while the Royal BC Museum’s long-term plan outlined a drastic revitalization of the area.
The plan to bring the Juno Awards to the capital region gained steam and moved a step closer to reality as the year ended. A public hearing was announced for the stalled Sawyer building but the project remains in limbo today. Hudson Walk was another project that promised to restart but failed to do so by year’s end. Victorians were delighted to see the wrappings come off the rehabilitated Hudson condo with its meticulously restored facade. Later in the month, video of a Vic PD officer’s use of force went viral, and Downtown’s wacky border gained attention.
We updated readers on the latest construction news, including the Hudson’s second phase. We broke the news of the pending closure of Harris Green’s St. Andrew’s Elementary School. The Northern Junk redevelopment and the proposed Moon Under Water pub also attracted attention.
We kicked off the month with a look at Emergency Preparedness Week and the disappearance of Downtown’s emergency triage kit. Madrona Farm’s purchase complemented earlier stories about other local farms working to reinvent themselves. The Sovereign had good news, the View/Fort condo had bad news and the Douglas StreetSuperstore was the latest entry in the pending start/still stalled category. We watched the anti-HST petition and subsequent recall initiative and the Seals’ home opener, not knowing it would be the baseball team’s last at Royal Athletic Park. We discovered a non-conforming Telus billboard and followed the media giant’s attempts to make it legal seven months later. An Old Town mural was planned according to the rules but it later got bogged down and was put on hold.
The Vic PD got a new look in June, including new patrol cars. The force is still in the process of phasing out the old Crown Victoria cars. Transportation news included a Victoria airliner’s close call over Washington State, late night bus service and BC Ferries’ financial results. The on again/off again award for this month goes to Concert Properties Yates Street condo (or office) project. Other development news took us to CFB Esquimalt, and Downtown. And of course, the Johnson Street Bridge process continued to make news. VV
End of part I
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