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Downtown Boundaries


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#1 G-Man

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 10:43 AM

This is still being discussed by the city however I thought I would throw up a couple of maps that have been put out by the city recetnly to spark some debate. I know many members of this forum attended the Downtown Workshop in the early spring last year and may find this interesting:

http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/pdfs/downtown_wrkshp_edges2.pdf

http://www.victoria.ca/cityhall/pdfs/downtown_public_chrctr.pdf

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#2 aastra

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 11:21 AM

Wow. Overanalyze much? What a stupid, stupid exercise this is. We don't NEED to define a boundary. There is no boundary!!!

Downtown is downtown. Everybody knows what downtown is. Everybody knows it doesn't have a hard border around it. The people who want to categorize every single block (or portion of a block) as something distinct or exceptional are simply hardcore anti-development types. They want to define boundaries so they can cripple and contain the city's core area. That's their only motive.

Let the city be what it wants to be. Stop trying to corset it into something it isn't.

#3 G-Man

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 11:30 AM

I agree that the city does far too much compartmentalizing.

I think that the city's idea is for zoning purposes. Where can we build a downtown type highrise and where should we not. etc etc

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#4 aastra

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:46 PM

The Victoria News contained a story this weekend, "Rooming House Raises Red Flags."

Here's the lead:

Supporters see St. Louis's proposal for an 11-unit rooming house at 1537 Bay St. as a golden opportunity to create affordable housing units in downtown Victoria.


So now Bay Street a couple of blocks from Shelbourne is downtown? Absolute bullcrap.

This is yet another example of the false reality Victorians have constructed for themselves to further various political ends. On the one hand we've got people arguing against development at the Bay department store site or behind the Empress hotel because (they claim) those areas are NOT downtown, and on the other hand we've got people arguing for a rooming house in a residential neighbourhood near the Jubilee Hospital because (they claim) the Oaklands/Jubilee area IS downtown.

Absolutely absurd.

#5 aastra

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:48 PM

Propose a highrise at Bay & Shelbourne and see how many people agree with you when you claim that area is downtown.

#6 Holden West

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 08:50 PM

Maybe we need to coin "Metro Victoria" that casts a wider net than "Downtown".
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#7 m0nkyman

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 09:23 PM

Does it matter? Yes. Marketing is important.

We need to market downtown, and in order to do that, we need a clear idea of what downtown is.

In my world, downtown starts with the buildings on the West side of Blanshard, starting at Belleville on the south side. It would go as far north as Fisgard. The western boundary would be the water.

I'm not downtown. I'm in the Harris Green neighbourhood, and part of the Antique Row shopping district.

#8 Holden West

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 09:29 PM

^That's one of the smallest definitions of Downtown I've heard. That's not a criticism in any way--It's just interesting that 100 people will have 100 definitions.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#9 aastra

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 09:40 PM

So of all the big old downtown Bay stores, Victoria's was the only one that wasn't actually downtown?

#10 D.L.

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 09:53 PM

There are two types of 'downtown'. There's the fun and exciting one that's constantly the center of action. Then there's the boring and conservative one which exists as a border on a map of the city.

I believe downtown goes as far west as Cook Street. If I have an appointment at my doctor in the professional building at Yates and Cook Streets, I say I am going downtown. I don't say Harris Green instead just because some bureaucrat decided to put stifiling borders around it.

In my head areas like North Park and Harris Green are a part of downtown because they are too close, too small, and not different enough to be something different.

#11 m0nkyman

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 10:20 PM

Yeah, but I actually live down here, so for me to go downtown, I go to where I described... ;)

#12 m0nkyman

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 10:22 PM

^That's one of the smallest definitions of Downtown I've heard. That's not a criticism in any way--It's just interesting that 100 people will have 100 definitions.


If you can find any marketing materials promoting downtown from the City of Victoria, the old BIA or the new DBA that pictures anything outside those coordinates, and I'll give you a hero cookie.

#13 Scaper

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 10:28 PM

My view of downtown comes from more of a suburbanite. I see it this way because for most of my life I have lived in Saanich...growing up in the Royal Oak area and going to Claremont. When ever I drove down town...I would see the Scotia Bank Builidng at Douglas and Hillside and I would feel I had reached downtown... To the south, encompassing the Leg and the Bellville street Dock. The the West Dockside, and to the East Cook Street. To me all of Harris Green is downtown. Those who built those great big churches didn't do build them for Victoria....All those massive steeples should be in downtown.

I also heard someone say...anywhere, where there is parking meters should be downtown. I think it was a member of the DRA who spoke this.

Anyways to confine it to that small area they have now is ridiculous.

That's my thoughts!!!

#14 Holden West

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 10:31 PM

The boundaries of the Downtown Victoria Business Improvement Area are slightly larger than the City's Downtown boundaries and extend north to include both sides of Chatham Street, south to include both sides of Belleville Street (with the exception of the 500 & 600 blocks of Belleville), east to include both sides of Blanshard Street, and west to Ocean Pointe and Laurel Point (only the north side of Kingston Street, west of Montreal).
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#15 Galvanized

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:36 PM

I lived in the North Park area for 5 years and I always said to people I lived downtown and no one ever disagreed with me. I've always considered downtown to be south of Bay St, west of Cook St, north of Belleville and bordered by the harbour. It's interesting to hear so many definitions of it!
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#16 Holden West

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:49 PM

Not only is the City of Victoria's Downtown boundary different from the DVBA's area, there's also the Downtown Advisory Committee's area as well as the Business Improvement Association's boundary. Every one is different and larger than M0nkeyman's definition. For instance, The DAC includes Rock Bay but not James Bay. The BIA includes north James Bay and only a few Rock Bay buildings as well as the Delta Hotel on Songhees.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#17 Mike K.

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:50 PM

The folks who marketed the first phase of Upper Harbour Place in Vic West (where the two cranes are in Vic West by the Bay Street bridge) said that the location was downtown.

And just the other day, I overheard an employee at the Vic West Rona (Bay at Wilson) call out to a supplier and say "It's Deb at the downtown Rona..."

In any case, I agree with Galvanized's borders for downtown but I'd up my northern border to Hillside. That to me is the start of the business centre, what with the TC head office, the commercial district in the vicinity and the pending Rock Bay redevelopment at Bay.

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#18 Caramia

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:53 PM

At the first workshop for the downtown plan one of the excercises was to be presented a slideshow of different locations, then everyone got to say "Downtown" or "Not Downtown" this gave a "fuzzy boundary" map that showed where Downtown's boundaries are in the mental maps of the Victorians. It was definitely a wider area than the official version.
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#19 Holden West

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:54 PM

^^Derf, if the bus depot had gone ahead across from the T/C, that would've clinched it.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#20 Scaper

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:01 AM

With Ross Place and the mayors plans to develop highrises in this north part of town, I think the downtown boundry should be moved to Hillside. I guess in my mind the boundry should include a portion of Vic West such as Dock Side and maybe the Park / Save on Foods etc....I can understand the water boundry and keeping all of that Vic West. When your in Vancouver and you look across the water to North Van it looks like the continuation of the city! I guess it all in the zoning of waterfront property to me. The Rail Yards is such a waste in my opionion. Same with the Selkirk properties. Anyways...I just hope the city gets their buts in gear and actually gets this plan done!!!

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