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No more downtown ping pong — or is this truly the end?

The $5,000 metal ping pong table located at the corner of Douglas and Humboldt Street was removed, having only been there a few years. 

Although its initial installation by the City of Victoria in 2019 stirred some controversy regarding the cost, it soon became a well-known interactive portion of Victoria’s downtown.

Victoria Buzz spoke with Colleen Mycroft, the Manager for Intergovernmental and Media Relations for the City of Victoria about the circumstances and possible relocation.

“It had to be removed because of the construction,” she said. 

However, the timing worked out quite well as the city has been developing ideas for an immersive and comfortable sit/play area within Centennial Square as a part of the ‘OUR DWTN (Downtown)’ project proposed earlier this year. 

Related: Victoria approves major makeovers for Centennial Square and Gorge Waterway

Mycroft also noted that its previous location didn’t get the best traffic and has high hopes for its new spot in the square. 

“The ping pong table has landed in Centennial Square and it’s still on the flatbed truck,” Mycroft said.

The paddles and balls will be available in a box within City Hall and are available for sign out during their office hours from Monday to Friday.

“There’s also a whole animation going on down here — there’s astroturf, Adirondack seating, and planters all being installed today.”

Additionally, there will be life-sized chess boards being installed next week, so keep an eye out for those!

Centennial Square hasn’t seen a major overhaul since 1965, when the space became what it is today. 

Now, city staff are aiming to make the 58-year-old public space become something more modernized for the residents of Victoria’s present and future.

The first phase of suggested action would be to renovate the staircase in Centennial Square as well as replacing the fountain with a splash park.

Other priority tasks for the square include, additional trees, better accessibility, a commercial kiosk, more seating and better infrastructure to support large-scale events.

Future phases will include converting the undercroft of the west end of City Hall into an indoor multi-use space and improving transit infrastructure on the east side of the Square. 

With files from Curt Blandy

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