Record breaking heat a boon for Greater Victoria business


WATCH: Temperature records have been broken all over the island, but down in Greater Victoria, the stunning sun is bringing people out of the woodwork and into the shops. Kori Sidaway reports.

A sneaky spring is suddenly here – bringing with it, a hot heat.

“The last couple days have just been beautiful!” said beachgoer Danielle Chambers.

“It’s so much better than winter because it’s nice and warm!” said youngster Rayleigh.

And whether it’s tossing rocks into the ocean, riding around with the roof off, or taking to the sunny streets of downtown Victoria, everyone and their dog seems to be getting outdoors and rediscovering their local shops.

“It definitely has a positive impact on our businesses, because it has a big impact on people’s mood,” said Jeff Bray, executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

And with this record-breaking heat, patios are opening up, and business is booming.

“It’s really just gone from zero to one hundred in less than a week,” said Jeremy Petzing, co-owner of The Local.

Without much warning, business has bumped way up in the Greater Victoria area.

“We weren’t prepared for 17 to 20 degrees this week,” said Petzing.

“It seems to have exceeded all our expectations.”

But the sudden spring does have a slight downside.

“We’re waiting for all our transient staff and all our staff that are out at school to get back,” said Petzing.

Proving this heat isn’t waiting for anyone or anything.

At Demitasse in Oak Bay, the blooming garden centre and sun have people flocking there.

“The sun definitely brings the customers out,” said co-owner Rob Rogers.

And although profits are typically tied to the seasons in Victoria, February was colder and slower than usual. But business owners are hoping the heat will change things around.

“This is certainly a welcome reprieve from that,” said Bray.

“Hopefully what we’ll see is the slightly slower February will be transplanted by a more accelerated March.”

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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