If downtown Victoria BC storefronts were teeth, this city would need a new bridge.
…Oh, wait. That’s a bad joke (see posts tagged with Johnson Street Bridge)… We are getting a new bridge. But as the following photos will show, what we really need is economic revitalization.
This afternoon, I was walking down Fort Street to Monk’s at Fort and Blanshard. I passed one empty storefront after another – just on one side of the street, just on one street, just on three-and-a-half blocks.
This is what many parts of downtown Victoria look like.
We start at Fort and Cook Streets, the northeast corner, before we head east on Fort St. (we’re traveling on the north side of the street).
We see 1090 Fort St, and there isn’t just one empty storefront, but two.
Next up, same building:
Next up, in a small, low building a few doors down:
The next one’s demise (just a few doors down) was new-to-me:
Nearly next-door to Plenty (ironic name) is the Korean specialty clothing boutique that closed earlier this year. The sign claims that someone new is taking over, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Right now, the place is empty and bereft:
Ok, we’re still in the same block (1000s), and here’s another place that has been sitting empty for months and months:
Ok, we now come to the 800 block of Fort St. (The 900 block on the north side of Fort is mostly surface parking lots – next to Lund’s – and a grassy trash-lot in front of View Towers. So, there are only a few stores in that block anyway…)
A couple of doors down, there’s the carpet place, which recently started claiming that it was closing. Probably just a ploy, but I thought I’d include this to replace Marvan (in the 1100 block of Fort, on the south side), which is closing, sadly:
The alleged going-out-of-business carpet store did take over (in a most unattractive manner) an empty storefront next door – yes, another one, and it has been empty for …what?, years now?
Now we’re in the 700 block of Fort. I can’t even remember what this store used to be – but it’s empty, and will probably stay that way for ages…
And next door to the above, the former Cairo Coffee Merchants, defunct:
Ok, that was depressing.
It never fails to amaze me that Victoria is full of attractive neighborhoods, bounded by gorgeous scenery that’s unparalleled.
But go downtown, and you have to wonder why Victorians hate their city so much that they let it die.
Note: this post is the first of a series of three – it just kind of happened that way. Part 2 is here and part 3 is here.
The Dying Downtown Victoria BC by Yule Heibel, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
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