Thousands of people pack Douglas Street for the annual Car Free YYJ event. This year the busy downtown street will be converted to a pedestrian area with vendors, entertainment and more on June 17. Photo courtesy of the Downtown Victoria Business Association

See downtown Victoria in a whole new way with Car Free YYJ

Annual event removes vehicles for a day from busy stretch of Douglas Street

Put the car in ‘park’ and stretch those hammies because Car Free YYJ is back for another year of music, food and community connection along nine blocks of Douglas Street.

This now-annual street fair has quickly become a staple of summer in the Capital Region and a popular one at that; the 2017 event saw over 25,000 people attend, even in less-than-ideal weather.

The concept is simple: Douglas Street from Chatham/Caledonia to Courtney Street is closed to vehicle traffic and around 500 different vendors, dozens of musical acts and tens of thousands of people are invited to turn the area into a one-day outdoor community festival.

“It’s an exciting one, because it’s a free event and it just brings out a ton of people,” said Nick Blasko, director of Atomique Productions, which organizes the event for presenter Downtown Victoria Business Association. “It’s not every day you get to turn Douglas Street into a giant community celebration.”

Returning participants will have new vendors to enjoy, from food trucks to artisans and more, along with the return of the grassy park between Pandora and Johnson streets. This 5,000 square foot temporary green space features picnic tables and is commonly filled with adults lounging and children running around.

“Literally, what is normally a bus stop on Douglas Street becomes a park,” said Blasko. “I love the fact that it’s up and down in one day … but it’s such high impact.”

The popularity of Car Free Day has led to similar events being planned, including the first ever Cook Street Village Block Party, which had a hugely successful inaugural event on May 27.

Car Free Day YYJ runs from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. For more information visit downtownvictoria.ca/events/car-free-yyj.

– Monday Magazine staff

Just Posted

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

An upstart ferry company might be a Malahat alternative

A new ferry service might alleviate Malahat congestion. Dogwood Ferries is a… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

GoFundMe page launched for families of missing Vancouver Island fishermen

Search for three men whose vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15 continues.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

Most Read