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PHOTOS: ‘It’s a reality’: Esquimalt Town Square opens with focus on being gathering space

It includes housing, retail shops, community spaces, a new library and public art

On the grounds of what used to be the community’s public works site, dancing and the sound of song filled Esquimalt’s new town square on Saturday.

A crowd of over 50 gathered at the afternoon grand opening July 3 to take in the space’s new life at the corner of Esquimalt Road and Park Place. Saturday showed signs of what Mayor Barb Desjardins has long imagined for the square – vibrancy and community gathering.

“This all started many years ago with a vision, now, it’s a reality,” she said to the crowd.

“While the idea of a town square is a very old one, it is still as valuable today as it was 100 years ago.”

The town square includes residential units, retail shops, community spaces, a new library to replace the former Greater Victoria Public Library branch below the municipal hall, and an art walk that features local works.

Speaking to Black Press Media, the mayor expressed pride in the new gathering spot. She said the town square promotes all sorts of social interactions and said it will help tie all the surrounding amenities together for the community.

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to relax, Desjardins said, Saturday’s grand opening was hopefully reflective of what’s ahead, as people begin to feel comfortable in groups again.

“We’ve missed it so much,” she said. “You’re seeing people transitioning away from COVID fear to understanding what the potential of gathering space is all about. It’s going to be amazing going forward.”

READ: Excitement building around Esquimalt Town Square

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Jake Romphf

About the Author: Jake Romphf

In early 2021, I made the move from the Great Lakes to Greater Victoria with the aim of experiencing more of the country I report on.
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