Victoria city councillors Charlayne Thornton-Joe

Victoria city councillors Charlayne Thornton-Joe

City buys visitors centre building from province

Mayor says city open to purchasing more properties in the area that the province might be selling

  • Mar. 13, 2015 9:00 a.m.

The City of Victoria has a new property in its portfolio along the Inner Harbour.

It purchased the property at 812 Wharf St., from the province for $7.8 million. Currently the location houses the Victoria Visitor Centre, Milestones restaurant and the Prince of Whales Whale watching.

The City self-financed the deal.

“We’ve borrowed $7.8 million from our infrastructure reserve fund and we will pay ourselves back with interest. In 22 years we will own this outright and it’s a longterm revenue generator,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

Talks to purchase the wharf started last August.

“It wasn’t necessary but it was a strategic asset on the inner harbour,” said Helps.

Helps said the city is open to purchasing more properties in the area that the province might be selling and this purchase is the second of potentially many.

“We are going to keep our eyes and ears open to see what else the province might be divesting and pay attention.”

Other items in the city’s four-year strategic plan include completing the David Foster Harbour pathway and fixing up the new purchase.

“We’ve got a little scrubbing up to do and we’ve got a little work to do such as parking lots that could have a better use but the harbour is a jewel and we need to shine it up a bit.”