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Victoria council to explore building new parkade, potentially losing existing one

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It's been more than three decades since the City of Victoria built a new parkade. At Thursday's committee of the whole meeting Couns. Matt Dell and Dave Thompson will be pitching the idea of building a new one.

“One of the things that we have to do as council is to plan 20, 30, 50 years down the road,” said Dell.

The question is, where would its location be.

“What I’m thinking with this motion is probably somewhere south of Bay Street, actually, so just on the edge of the downtown core,” said Dell.

That’s roughly eight blocks away from City Hall.

“I think it’s too far away because we want to park somewhere nearby,” said Fiona Zhu, who lives in Victoria.

City Hall is next to Centennial Square, which is scheduled for a major makeover in the coming years.

“A final phase of that would be reimagining Centennial Square Parkade,” said Dell.

Meaning that parkade could potentially disappear down the road.

“We definitely are supportive of having a new parkade in and around downtown, but not at the expense of an existing parkade where we end up with the same number of spots,” said Jeff Bray, CEO of the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

Bray says the proposed location isn’t a bad one if the city could look at incentivizing workers in the core with transit passes, opening up spots in other parkades in the core for customers.

“Now, when you build a building, it’s much more logical to put the parking underground,” said Dell.

Dell says nothing has been finalized and parking could still be a part of Centennial Square, just below ground.

“The motion is really about looking at building a new parkade,” said Dell. “One possibility of that could allow for knocking down Centennial Square Parkade, but this is not for 10 to 20 years away.” 

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