Colwood reclaimed its title of “Bloomingest” community in Greater Victoria after volunteers there tallied more than a third of the region’s 2022 flower count.
It marks a huge comeback for the West Shore municipality, which had a five-year winning streak up until 2019 when it lost to Victoria. Saanich stole the title in 2020, and Highlands claimed it in 2021.
This year, Greater Victorians counted a total of 27,875,292,158 flowers in the region. Of those, 9.64 billion were in Colwood.
Saanich was a close second with 9.25 billion. In third was North Saanich with 5.35 billion, followed by Victoria with 1.4 billion, Central Saanich with 1.22 billion, Oak Bay with 521.2 million, Highlands with 345.5 million, Langford with 62.7 million, View Royal with 39.3 million, Sooke with 18.2 million, Esquimalt with 12.8 million, Sidney with 5.53 million, and Metchosin with 5.51 million. The remaining 1.6 million were in unincorporated areas.
This year’s winning elementary school class is Ashley Close’s class at Prospect Lake Elementary School in Saanich. The class counted 2.51 billion blossoms.
“Congratulations to Colwood and Ms. Ashley Close’s class on winning this year’s Greater Victoria Flower Count,” said Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria, in a statement. “This was a special flower count for the visitor economy. We are welcoming back visitors with open arms and want them to enjoy everything Greater Victoria has to offer. This includes our numerous flowers and gardens.”
Colwood Mayor Rob Martin said the city would celebrate by planting a cherry tree.
The overall total was a marked decline from the 65.2 billion blooms counted in 2021. It very likely doesn’t reflect an actual reduction in the number of flowers in the region though, as the count is simply a light-hearted, volunteer-run activity.
The goal, according to flower count organizers, is to bolster community pride and draw tourism to the one part of Canada lucky enough to house billions of flowers while the rest of the country remains stuck in winter.
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