For Immediate Release: June 11, 2012
Victoria, BC: In a recently released study of ten downtowns across Canada, Downtown Victoria demonstrated that that it has what it takes to succeed.
The Value of Investing in Downtown is a national research study of Canadian downtowns which is the very first of its kind and one of the most ground-breaking reviews of Canadian downtowns to date. The Canadian Issues Task Force of the International Downtown Association commissioned the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) to carry out a review of downtowns in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Fredericton and Halifax.
"It is quite evident from the study that Downtown Victoria remains the focal point and centre of our Capital Region because we have done well in adhering to the five principles which the study identified as key to the vibrancy and vitality of a Canadian downtown," says Ken Kelly, a member of the Canadian Issues Task Force and General Manager of the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA).
The five principles for successful downtown are:
a) the downtown having an integral and central role in the life of the wider community;
b) the downtown benefiting from a multiplicity of strong, bold leaders who collaborate to achieve and sustain a shared vision;
c) the downtown having a robust and innovative economy;
d) the downtown being vibrant, liveable, and connected; and
e) the city investing strategically in the downtown's future
The study also found that the health of Canada's downtowns is strongly linked to successful collaborations, long-term planning, and progressive revitalization initiatives.
"Since our inception in 2005, the DVBA has worked hard to establish effective and innovative partnerships to capitalize on opportunities and to address challenges", says Fran Hobbis, Chair of the DVBA. "Keeping a downtown successful requires the efforts of an entire community, from the private sector to the three levels of government, all the way to residents from the entire community. A downtown is the persona and bellwether for the whole region and is the part of the community on which visitors and investors base their impressions".
Downtowns across Canada are continuing to change and evolve. The resurgence of people living downtown reinforces that a critical mass of activity is required to support the expansion of retail, service, and relaxation amenities. This is of particular importance in a city like Victoria, where properties within the downtown boundaries contribute 21% of the total municipal property taxes paid within the City. Victoria ranks second to Toronto, in which its downtown contributes 25% of the city's total property tax revenues, and well ahead of Edmonton, in which only 8% of city's total property tax revenues come from its downtown.
The full version of "The Value of Investing in Canadian Downtowns" can be accessed at:
https://www.ida-downtown.org/eweb/docs/2010 Web Docs/The Value of Investing in Canadian DT 5-15.pdf
The Mission of the Downtown Victoria Business Association is to help make Downtown Victoria the destination of choice for Greater Victoria residents and visitors - for shopping, dining, entertainment, and other services; and to act as catalyst for vibrancy and prosperity in the downtown core through advocacy, marketing, events, improvements, and co-operative measures.
For more information, contact:Ken Kelly, General ManagerDVBA250-896-2239