A pedestrian walks down Grant Street passing a newly painted street mandala on the pavement next to Haegert Park. The mandala

A pedestrian walks down Grant Street passing a newly painted street mandala on the pavement next to Haegert Park. The mandala

More street art slated for downtown

Four crosswalks on Fort and Blanshard Streets will be splashed with colour.

  • Sep. 2, 2015 12:00 p.m.

The City of Victoria isn’t planning on painting more sidewalks with rainbows any time soon, but a few crosswalks around Fort Street are about to be splashed with colour.

The Fort Street Business Association recently got the go-ahead from the city to place art on the street at all four crosswalks on the corner of Fort and Blanshard Streets. The design has yet to be revealed, but was created by a tattoo artist in the area. Around 29 businesses on Fort Street have kicked in funds for the project that’s been tossed around for the last year and a half.

“It’s going to be quite awesome and done in a tasteful way,” said Teri Hustins, co-chair of the Fort Street Business Association. She hopes the painting will begin some time after Labour Day.

“Some of the property owners in that block are really putting a lot of time and money into their properties, so the art that’s going down on that intersection has to be something that works with their building.”

To celebrate the city’s diversity leading up to Pride Week in early July, the city painted three permanent rainbow crosswalks on Pandora at Broad Street. Unanimously approved by council, the cost of painting the three crosswalks was $14,000, and aside from some minor vandalism a few weeks ago, the colourful crossings have been overwhelmingly positive thus far.

“There was a little criticism over the cost and things, but generally people have been very supportive,” said Coun. Jeremy Loveday. “Every day I see people taking photos of themselves at the crosswalks, and that’s locals and lots of tourists. It’s a place that people come and take their photo when they are in Victoria.”

The idea was sparked when Loveday was in Edmonton for meetings and snapped a photo of a temporary rainbow crosswalk painted there, then posted it on social media. Much to his surprise, the post was the most popular the city has ever had.

Loveday said he is in favour of more art projects on city sidewalks and other infrastructure, but wants them to be lead by the community. Recently, the community of Fernwood painted its first street mandala on the pavement near Grant Street and Haegert Park. The idea arose about seven years ago, and was inspired by the many mandalas painted in Portland, Oregon’s neighbourhoods.

“I think the rainbow crosswalks is an example of what you can do to make a normal piece of infrastructure into a special place,” said Loveday, adding the city has a strategic plan to help facilitate projects such as this.

“The rainbow crosswalks came from city council, but I would like to see more of it coming from the community and the city facilitate in helping it happen.”

In July 2013, Vancouver unveiled Canada’s first permanent rainbow-coloured crosswalk in the heart of its LGBTQ-friendly David Street Village to kick off the city’s Pride Week celebrations.

— Pamela Roth

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This property, at 1980 Fairfield Place, is adjoined to Gonzales Hill Park and is the centre of community opposition and a B.C. Supreme Court case as owners are looking to build a single-family home on the lot. Jake Romphf/News Staff
Home construction near Victoria’s Gonzales Hill Park spurs legal battle

Gonzales Hill Preservation Society worried about impacts to the park’s wildlife, rare fauna, views

Traffic heading south on Highway 17 and looking to turn left onto Beacon Avenue wait for the light to turn Tuesday morning. A report finds the intersection is experiencing “failing levels of service” for certain movements during the morning peak hours as well as the afternoon peak hours. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Major Sidney intersection already deficient predicted to get worse

New report also finds area’s pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in need of improvement

The artist rendered Sadie with a few more ribs and wrinkles than she had in real life, and with the fading of her paint she looks a little sad. But real-life Sadie was an energetic hunting dog, her owner Cliff Curtis said. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Dog sculpture at Glen Lake Park based off a happy hunting hound

Sadie the dog was not as old as the concrete art looks almost 20 years later

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read