Trash in doorways leaves merchants fuming

Finding used syringes, discarded food and other garbage in front of their Trounce Alley businesses was the last straw

Finding used syringes, discarded food and other garbage in front of their Trounce Alley businesses was the last straw for Katerina Ulasovska and Sabine Colin.

In business in the old city quarter since last December, the pair say they put up with garbage strewn throughout the area and homeless people camped out in fron of their businesses for more than nine months.

“How are we supposed to do business and how are we supposed to attract customers and tourists in such conditions? asks Ulasovska, owner of Domani Fashion Chic.

Colin, who operates Delicos de France and has lived in Calgary and Quebec City, has never seen anything like it.

“I’m very uncomfortable,” she said.

“Quebec City is very similar (to Victoria), small town, lots of tourists and I’ve never seen this in Quebec City. It’s very clean there. There is no homeless anywhere. It’s very different.”

Mayor Dean Fortin said city council has worked hard to limit the amount of people homeless in Victoria, and is surprised by the drug use in Trounce Alley.

He admits there are other areas of the city where drug use occurs, butt very little seems to occur in Trounce Alley area.

“Regrettably, it can happen,” he said. “We can’t ignore the issue and there is always more we need to do.”

Ida Chong, who’s running against Fortin in this fall’s civic election, said some parts of the downtown have an unwelcoming atmosphere.

“It’s not a problem that has happened overnight,” she said in an interview. “It’s an issue that hasn’t been properly addressed by the mayor.”

Both politicians say they will visit the Trounce Alley area to see the problems for themselves.

“We could take a look at what other cities are doing and find solutions that way. I plan to listen to people and act,” Chong said.

For  Ulasovska and Colin, they just want answers to a continuing problem.

“I’m not going to dive into the social issues,”  Ulasovska said. My business is to come and provide a service and sell. To come to work and have this garbage in front of your doors is unbelievable.”

Just Posted

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Police investigating incident in Saanich neighbourhood

Neighbours tell Black Press Media that a body has been found, but police remain tight-lipped.

Panels proliferate in Victoria’s Commercial Alley Art Gallery

City artist Fern Long’s themed works will be on display through August 2020

Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read