Victoria Street: The Heart In Downtown Kamloops

Downtowns have a lot to offer. The key is to make them great places to walk. That way, parking the tank and sending in the infantry on a 5 minute march becomes fun rather than a chore!

Every city has a downtown: A place to go, to see and be seen. Sometimes, changes come to a downtown attracting more people than ever before. That was the case 30 years ago when the Downtown Revitalization Program changed the character of Victoria Street in Kamloops making it a People Place. In 2020-2021 during the Covid epidemic, the sidewalks were widened downtown to provide safe outdoor seating. Now that Covid is under control, a win-win opportunity presents itself:

(1) Make the sidewalks widenings permanent; and

(2) Introduce back-in angle parking to increase the parking capacity in those places where the sidewalks are not widened.

Below is a walk along Victoria today illustrating long-standing strengths, and discussing new emerging opportunities of place.

400 BLK Victoria

1. 400 BLOCK Victoria Street

Bollards & a Wied Sidwalk!!

2.0 Bollards and a wider sidewalks 

Architecture turning a back to the street

2.1 Some Buildings  Turn Their Back to the Street

Here's the Park Bench... Where's the park?

2.2 Here’s the Park Bench… Now, where is the park?

Mid Block Crossingpng

3.0 The Heart of Kamloops: The 100 to 400 Blocks on Victoria Avenue

Mid-block crossings were expertly used to shorten the 500-foot long downtown blocks. Like the corner bulges, the mid-block crossings shorten the crossing distance to 20 feet (6 m).


3.2 FOURTH & Victoria: Crosswalks & Corner Bulges

377 BLK Victoria

3.3 300 BLOCK Victoria: Continuous street tree planting

300s BLK Victoriapng

3.4 Residential Infill  Over Commercial

300 BLK Victoria

3.5 Approaching THIRD and Victoria: Lots of street activity


3.6 200 BLOCK Victoria: curbside parking

276 BLK Victoria

3.7 THIRD & Victoria: the tall buildings are too tall

200 BLK Victoria

3.8 Closed Street End Vista: It doesn’t get better than this

..Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.12.09 PM

3.9 Terminating the Street End Vista with a Clock Tower

2nd Ave | s702

4.1 Sidewalk Cafés and Widened Sidewalks (2020 – 2021, ALF PHOTO)

(1) Concrete Barrier supporting pavers

(2) New Pavers widening sidewalk

(3) Fence demarcating sidewalk café seating


4.2 Sidewalk Café with Open Grillwork Fence (ALF PHOTO)

(1) Concrete Barrier supporting pavers

(2) New Pavers widening sidewalk

(3) Fence demarcating sidewalk café seating

4th Avne | 3108

4.3 Rainwater Grates (4) — 1990s Revitalization (ALF PHOTO)

Screen Shot 2021-06-11 at 12.38.35 PM

4.4 Angle Parking – Victoria Street 1930s

200 BLK Vic - : :PKG >

4.2 Back-In Angle Parking: ½ the Chore of Parallel Parking

The grey car in the center-right of the photo above is backing into a parallel parking space.

The driver is completing the first half of a two-part parking manoeuvre.

If this was a back-in angle parking space, the car would have already parked.


4.3 Back-in Angle Parking is a Breeze!


• Back-in-angle parking requires only the first half of the parallel parking manoeuvre.

• The disruption to traffic flow on the street is the same—or less—as with parallel parking.

• When it’s time to leave the parking spot, back-in-angle parking is the safest parking space to exit. The on-coming traffic presents in front of the driver’s side window.


PKG 4 x 8 Parallel Spaces (3 to 4th on Victoria)


PKG 12 to 16 as Front-In Angle Parking



4.4 Twice the Bang For the Same Buck

Finally, consider this important advantage of angle-parking:

angle parking DOUBLES how many cars fit along the curb.

Thus, back-in-angle parking has a trifecta of advantages:

(i)  Half the difficulty of parallel parking;

(ii)  Safest to exit; and

(ii) Doubles the parking capacity.

On Victoria Street it means a Win-Win:

(iv) Create more sidewalk space;

(v) Without giving up any parking.

Screen Shot 2021-05-31 at 4.12.26 PM

4.5 ‘Meet me at the clock!’

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