Fort Street Parklet Pilot Project

June 19, 2015

Our Vice-President of Development, Sam Ganong, was onsite today for the official launch of Victoria’s first parklet initiative, located on the 700 block of Fort St. in the downtown core. Fabulous Fort, a collection of Fort Street businesses have come together with several Victoria businesses volunteering their time and expertise to create a beautiful urban outdoor public space.

A parklet is essentially a small urban oasis created by replacing several parallel parking stalls with a patio and seating. Often you will find a combination of greenery such as trees, flowers, and shrubs in order to bring a serene feel to the space. Parklets are intended to provide a space for people to stop, sit and enjoy the city around them. They foster a sense of community and add natural landscapes and bio-diversity to the heavily paved downtown environment.

The ribbon cutting ceremony led by Mayor Lisa Helps, Teri Hustins and Suzanne Bradbury, co-chairs of the Fort Street Business Association brought numerous downtown residents and professionals to the street side for a glimpse at this new project

Sam shared his excitement about the parklet: “From the moment we were approached, we’ve been passionate about this initiative. Urban place making is a key consideration in smart development and we, at Abstract, recognize the value it has in contributing to a vibrant, healthy, happy and ultimately livable city. We were honoured to have been one of the key contributors to this project.”

Parklet programs have been very successful in cities like Vancouver, San Francisco, and Portland as a way to make streets friendlier to pedestrians and to generate economic vitality. Fort Street as a whole is flourishing with more and more businesses being drawn this location for its vibrancy and dynamic energy.

As a new member of the Abstract team, this experience allowed me to see first hand how Abstract invests in, and values being an active part of the community. It was great to see the community come together to support this initiative and hopefully the Fort Street Parklet will inspire other districts and neighbourhoods to follow suit.

I recommend stopping by to have a cup of coffee and a treat from The Dutch Bakery if you are in the area.

-Sara Poutanen, Marketing Coordinator

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