While landmarks like the Fairmont Empress attract a fair number of tourists to Victoria’s Government Street, it was only a year ago that vacant storefronts were a common sight along the strip.
City council floated ideas such as tax breaks for some business owners as a way to boost business.
But now, several new businesses are moving in and the neighbourhood may be rebounding.
Darryl Stean is the co-owner of Pour, a coffee shop which recently opened on Government Street in Victoria. (Michael McArthur/CBC)
“Talking to the landlord last week he told me there isn’t a single vacancy on the street,” said Darryl Stean, co-owner of Pour, a recently-opened coffee shop at the corner of Government and Courtenay Streets.
Also opening on Government Street this month is Black Goat Cashmere, a Vancouver-based brand that sells luxury cashmere clothing.
A store on Government Street sits empty in Spring 2015. Jewellery store Lugaro is moving into the space in Summer 2016. (CBC)
Jewelry store Lugaro is also opening a new location on the street this summer.
Attracting tourists and locals
Though Stean said he did pick the location for Pour partly because of all the tourists the street attracts, he said “it’s in a geographical location that speaks to the business community and local patrons.”
Black Goat Cashmere, a Vancouver-based brand that sells luxury cashmere clothing, will soon be opening. (Michael McArthur/CBC)
“Through the last couple of months of construction renovation I got a chance to meet a lot of local people that stuck their head in and said, ‘Hey, we used to come here years ago, what are you going to be doing?’ There was a lot of interest in what we were going to be doing here.”
Stean says his business will thrive even after tourist season passes.
Government Street attracts many tourists, and has stores that cater to that demand by selling t-shirts, fudge and postcards. (Michael McArthur/CBC)
“We want to become a destination so people will walk a block or two for the quality of our product, that’s really important to us,” Stean said.
“We want to offer a locally made product at a high, high quality that people will leave their office and walk a couple of blocks to get to.”
Courtesy : cbc.ca