A new street mural popped up in downtown Victoria on the weekend of June 6. A team of volunteers and directors at the Greater Victoria Placemaking Network worked the rollers and brushes to splash new shapes and colours at the corner of Humboldt and Douglas Streets.
Check out the 40 second timelapse video of our volunteers at work.
In 2019, the City of Victoria completed the Humboldt St leg of its protected bike lane network. At the five-way intersection at Douglas St., the city’s new design closed off Humboldt St. entry to motor vehicle traffic, while directing bicycle traffic on a two-way path and creating a small new plaza. City staff added seating, bike racks and a ping-pong table for locals and visitors.
The GVPN saw an opportunity to make the space “pop,” and to differentiate the activity area from the bikeway. We recruited Mateusz of Gust of Wind Studio to whip up a geometric design, and secured a grant from Victoria’s My Great Neighbourhood program.
The result is a bright new look on Humboldt St. After a rather bleak spring of physical distancing and shutdowns, a welcoming and attractive new public space downtown Victoria may be just what we need as summer starts.
The Covid-19 pandemic has generated a new appreciation of the value of parks and public spaces in our cities and communities. Cities across the world are remaking and reimagining public spaces to provide safe social interaction and rejuvenation for their citizens. To survive, many businesses are looking to adapt parking spots for patio seating and parklets. In Victoria, the City has opened up Government Street and published new guidelines for local businesses to operate in the open air.
Cities are always changing and adapting. Back at the Humboldt corner, a new Telus office tower is being designed for the Apex site (currently Budget & National car rental). And the Bartholomew’s pub has closed (just for now, we hope), a victim of the Covid-19 shutdown. So this corner, and the city, will again renew itself.
In the meantime, come on by, take a seat, have a drink and bring a friend.
(Thanks again to GVPN volunteers and the City of Victoria’s My Great Neighbourhood Grant program.)