Economic indicators show life returning to downtown Victoria, says city, business groups
“There’s been a lot of unnecessarily negative chatter about downtown,” said Mayor Lisa Helps. “We wanted to see what was actually happening. What we see is optimism. We see renewed confidence in Victoria and renewed confidence downtown, and cautious optimism about what Victoria’s recovery will be like.
“The numbers tell a different story than some of the chatter.”
typical helps. the "chatter" is wrong!
then the article goes on to show the numbers are downright brutal.
What it found included a few surprises. The number of new business licences approved in that three-month period in 2021, for example, was 620, compared with 404 last year and 600 in 2019.
There were 394 building-permit applications in that period this year, compared with 331 in 2020 and 413 in 2019, and the value of those permits this year was $130.1 million, up from $47.6 million last year and $53 million in 2019.
There were also some signs of recovery in the data, with parking transactions increasing in 2021 compared with the same time in 2020, although still off 2019 numbers, and hotel occupancy rebounding slightly in 2021 from a disastrous 2020, but nowhere near 2019 numbers.
On the flip side, this spring has seen a drop in the number of pedestrians downtown.
The total pedestrians counted in that three-month period this year was 1.95 million, down from 2.75 million last year and 4.7 million in 2019, while the daily average of pedestrian counts from all counters in 2021 was 65,634, down from 93,805 last year and way off the 156,482 in 2019.
Along Government Street, the daily average pedestrian count fell to 16,554 this year, from 32,363 in 2020 and 53,065 in 2019.
But Helps maintains the numbers, including a slight increase in bicycle traffic this year compared with both 2020 and 2019, provide reason for optimism.
pedestrian traffic down by 2/3. that's a disaster considering all stores and restaurants are open.
Edited by Victoria Watcher, 19 June 2021 - 05:16 AM.