Last year, for one glorious day in June, six blocks of downtown Victoria were closed to traffic. That’s right. Over 7000 square feet free from busses, trucks and cars. Instead, visitors found a beer garden, three stages for live music, over 200 vendors, a half-pipe in the middle of the street and a whole lot of bicycles! The only trucks welcome downtown were food trucks. Literally the dream. Along Douglas Street, for six epic blocks, downtown Victoria was Car Free and full of fun!

car free victoria

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Did you completely miss the action? Are you kicking yourself right now for being out of town last year? Well worry no more! Car Free YYJ is back for 2016! Come downtown from 11 am to 6 pm June 19th for the Second Annual Car Free YYJ which will look a lot like last year’s, only BIGGER and BETTER. This year there will be four stages for live music, three beer gardens, over 250 vendors, and the entire event will span 9 blocks – 50% more space than last year!

Pedaler Give-Away at Car Free YYJ!

Brynne, one of our wonderful guides, will be manning The Pedaler booth all day, so make sure you come down and say hello! Enter our draw to win our new self-guided “Quest” bike tour. This is fun for locals and visitors: something like a scavenger hunt except you are solving puzzles at iconic locations around town, with the puzzles, clues, map, and directions delivered to your smartphone!

Victoria By Bike "Quest"

Victoria By Bike “Quest”

Fun Facts About Car Free Days:

  1. The European version of Car Free Day is “In town, without my car!” It has been held every autumn since 1998. By 2008, 39 different countries were participating!
  2. Vancouver holds their Car Free Day on the same weekend as Victoria. This will be their 12th annual event, held in different neighbourhoods around the city.
  3. Many cities around the world keep their main historic and downtown areas car-free all year round, like Venice, Budapest and Freiburg, Germany. Other cities have simply have pedestrian-only streets that allow cars only at certain times of the day for deliveries and commercial reasons, like Aristotle Street in Thessaloniki, Greece, or Seventh Ave in Calgary.
  4. Some cities love having streets free of cars so much, they have Car Free Day every week. Bogota, Colombia has instated Ciclovia, which is a weekly, city-wide car-free day that closes streets to cars from 7 am to 2 pm, inviting 2 million people (30% of the city’s population) out on their bikes.