The new table tennis table at the Humboldt Plaza has some taxpayers concerned. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Taxpayers question cost of new public ping pong table in Humboldt Plaza

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ believe the funds could have been used elsewhere

A new city installation at the corner of Humboldt and Douglas streets has some taxpayers asking questions.

A ping pong table was installed at the new Humboldt Plaza on Thursday, just in time for the official opening of the complete Wharf Street bike lanes.

The table is flanked by artistic benches, the two-way bike lanes and a sidewalk.

“Most taxpayers think any city financial contribution would be better spent fixing resurfacing roads or funding the police department,” said Stan Bartlett, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria, a municipal spending watchdog. “For others, it’s symptomatic of a council that has lost its way and when money is no object this is what you get.”

ALSO READ: Final leg of Wharf Street bike lanes, Humboldt Street plaza set to open

The table comes from a French producer, Cornilleau, with identical-looking tables selling online for $5,000. This prompted the Grumpy Taxpayer$ to question what additional costs tied to taxes, shipping and installation could be.

“When you have unlimited tax dollars there’s no issue,” Bartlett said, “The city has done a tremendous job on that intersection; they blocked off one street and should be commended for that, but as far as a ping pong table, holy smokes.”

The Grumpy Taxpayer$ likened this investment to others including the musical staircase at the Bastion Square Parkade, or the phone-charging bench in Cook Street Village.

ALSO READ: Next phases of Victoria bike lanes coming up for discussion

“These kinds of things are cute, but practicality and logistics are important,” Bartlett said.

The City of Victoria told Black Press that purchasing the table, including taxes and delivery, totalled $5,150.

The Humboldt Plaza was the focus of the Douglas/Humboldt engagement process, which the City says involved 17 meetings with key stakeholders, four meetings with community associations, one public open house, and 1,395 survey responses in which a ping pong table was presented as an option.

Paddles and ping pong balls are still being purchased and distributed, and will be given to local businesses and schools shortly.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

bike lanesCity of Victoria

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

Just Posted

Loss of UVic dog park deals a blow to socially anxious pets

Owners of non-socialized dogs seek safe space following closure of Cedar Hill Corner

Residents around Sidney’s Reay Creek Pond welcome federal remediation efforts

It is not clear yet whether Sidney will renovate nearby dam at the same time

Public to weigh in on Colwood Royal Bay development Monday

Application to rezone lands north of Latoria Boulevard submitted to council

Camp fun still offered in Greater Victoria

Easter Seals offers day camp options to replace cancelled overnight camps

Swim advisory issued at Cadboro Bay beach due to high bacteria levels

Island Health advises against water activities, swimming

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read