WATCH: Downtown Victoria was bustling with a different type of traffic Sunday, as thousands said goodbye to their cars and embraced “Car Free YYJ”. Veronica Cooper takes you inside the event, aimed to promote sustainability.
Nine blocks of Douglas Street, from Caledonia to Courtney streets were closed to traffic Sunday for the annual community celebration known as Car Free YYJ.
It’s a street festival encouraging people to learn about sustainability and living a car-free lifestyle.
Many choose to bike downtown to take in the event and take advantage of the bike check, managed by Fort Street Cycle.
“Come downtown with your bike, and you don’t have to worry about locking it up anywhere. You just bring it to us, we’ll keep an eye on it for you while you’re out enjoying the downtown core, ” said Andy Thaler from Fort Street Cycle.
More than four hundred local businesses, artisans and food vendors lined Douglas Street, entertaining and informing the crowds.
“We have had so many people here,” says Lily Y, a volunteer with Tour de Victoria. “We set up at 8 o’clock, and we didn’t expect people until about 11, and [then] they were coming by like, almost right away.”
Because the event was held on Father’s Day, there were plenty of families celebrating both Car Free YYJ and Father’s Day.
“This is an amazing event down here to share some time and make some memories with my boy,” said one father.
Some were a bit skeptical about Car Free YYJ, but came down to check it out anyway.
One gentleman admitted the event made an impact on him.
“There’s a time and a place for everything, and realistically speaking, when it comes to an automobile, I agree we kind of overuse them, but I’m the last person that should be giving advice, I have 14 automobiles!”
With sunny skies, and plenty of family-friendly entertainment most gave Car Free YYJ two thumbs up.
“We think it’s great,” said one young mom, holding her toddler’s hand. “It’s nice to see the community out, and it’s a beautiful day for it! And all the vendors? It’s been great actually!”
Click here for more information about Car Free YYJ 2018.