Thursday, February 22, 2024

Downtown Victoria library has windows smashed multiple times in one week

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It’s becoming a common narrative in Victoria’s downtown core to have a business or organization have a window smashed in the middle of the night.

Twice this week, the Greater Victoria Public Library’s (GVPL) central branch located at 735 Broughton Street has had incidents of massive windows being broken.

“There have been two incidents now,” Kelly Ridgeway, marketing and development for GVPL. “One on Saturday evening, the central branch was able to open.”

“Another one early [Wednesday] morning and the branch has had to remain closed while they basically secure the area so that it’s safe for patrons and staff.”

VicPD is handling the investigation of both instances of vandalism.

“There isn’t anything we can really say about it because it is part of an ongoing police investigation.”

These incidents mark the second and third large scale windows being smashed in the downtown core after Adventure Clothing on Yates Street had their large storefront window broken in a random act of vandalism, also being investigated by VicPD.

“I got an alarm call at 4:40 a.m.,” Jennifer Robinson, owner of Adventure Clothing told Victoria Buzz. “They don’t seem to be smashing my windows to break in or anything, they’re just smashing them out of vandalism.”

“People don’t go smashing windows for nothing.”

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Following Robinson’s window being smashed she decided to make the best of a bad situation by hiring a local mural artist to paint a design on the plywood covering where her beloved window used to be.

For now GVPL’s Central Branch library will similarly have temporary coverings where the affected windows used to be so that patrons and staff will be safe to work and explore the offerings the library has. 

Ridgeway said it is unclear how long the temporary coverings will be in place for. The size and scale of the damaged windows affected may mean that replacements could take some time to custom make and install. 

The library did open on Thursday February 2nd, but it was delayed as staff want the library to feel as safe as possible.

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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