The Vic Hotel at 123 Gorge Road East has begun operations as the Capital's newest hotel option following the building's conversion into provincial housing between the spring of 2020 and December of 2021. Formerly, the complex was branded as a Travelodge. Evergreen Hospitality Group
Gorge Road's Travelodge turned-COVID-era housing facility back to hotel operations as 'The Vic'
Mike Kozakowski, Citified.ca
Published August 31, 2023
The Burnside Gorge neighbourhood’s former Travelodge complex, which in 2020 was converted into residences for homeless persons by the provincial government as part of COVID-era emergency housing measures, is back to hotel operations.
Now known as The Vic Hotel, the approximately 100-room facility at 123 Gorge Road East has received a full interior upgrade and restoration, its exterior is freshly painted in a black-and-white motif, and its services are now described as a four-star lodging option.
Operated by BC-based Evergreen Hospitality Group, The Vic is part of the company’s boutique “Ascend Hotel Collection,” and shares no semblance with its tumultuous recent past as a provincial housing site that met its end with a lease termination in December of 2021.
Victoria’s hotel industry has shed considerable room capacity since the beginning of the 2000s, with multiple hotels converting to full-time residences pre-COVID, and numerous properties changing hands during COVID for use as housing for unsheltered individuals.
The sale and conversion of landmark hotel properties in downtown Victoria and periphery areas have sharply reduced hotel room inventory in the Capital, which historically has been known as a tourism-dependant city with a once-thriving hotel sector comprised of some 4,000 rooms. The present-day loss of rooms by some counts, compared to the early 2000s, is well in excess of 1,000 units.
Notable re-purposing projects include Douglas Street’s Queen Victoria Inn, converted into 124 rental apartments, James Bay’s Harbour Towers Hotel conversion into 219 apartments
, the 99-room Dominion Hotel’s conversion
(on Yates Street) into rentals, Paul’s Motor Inn’s 75 Chatham Street rooms turned into provincial housing, and the roughly 150-room Comfort Inn’s new use (on Blanshard Street near Finlayson Street) also as a provincial housing facility. The aforementioned properties are themselves only a handful of the hotel and motel conversions in downtown Victoria, the Gorge Road strip and periphery neighbourhoods of the downtown core that that have been documented over 20 years.