(Lekwungen Plaza and Landmark)

Big changes are coming to Government Street, following more than 700 residents taking part in an online forum and survey and approval from Victoria council.

On July 14th, city staff and design consultants presented a draft concept design and implementation strategy for Council’s consideration at a Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Two weeks later, on July 28th, the City Council considered the concept design and implementation strategy for adoption at a daytime Council Meeting, ultimately approving the redesign plan.

The change comes following a multi-phase Government street refresh plan, which has involved businesses, community stakeholders, the public and First National representatives to help form a vision and concept design to improve Government Street.

In March, The City of Victoria sought public feedback on its draft plan to refresh Government Street, enhancing a streetscape that hasn’t changed in nearly 50 years.

See more: City of Victoria seeks public feedback on proposed changes to Government Street

According to the city, more than 700 residents took part in the project’s first phase, sharing their ideas in an online forum and survey.

Expanded pedestrian areas, extra accessible seating, upgraded lighting and more were all envisioned for one of Victoria’s most iconic and well-known streets.

Currently, Government Street faces aging infrastructure – street furniture, trees, traffic signals, sidewalks, road surfaces and more that will need to be replaced in the coming years.

The draft plan proposed two new “cultural plazas” with landmarks to serve as gateways – one at Humboldt Street, with the other at Pandora Street.

And while expanded pedestrian areas and “timed car-free zones” are included in the draft, the city noted bikes, pedicabs and horse-drawn carriages will still be welcome.

The draft called for public art to be incorporated, plus more space for restaurant patios and storefronts along Government Street.

There are also plans to extend the character of the street north between Yates and Pandora Streets, with no impact on two-way vehicle traffic, parking or loading zones, says the city.

In May 2022, The City of Victoria received $750K in funding to enhance a popular street in the downtown core, in a push to attract more tourists, visitors and new businesses.

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