Amanda Vance, executive director of the Downtown Duncan BIA, stands in front of downtown’s open-air food court when it opened last July. (File photo)

Amanda Vance, executive director of the Downtown Duncan BIA, stands in front of downtown’s open-air food court when it opened last July. (File photo)

Duncan’s open-air food court to return

But venue will have concrete picnic tables this year

The popular open-air food court that operated in Duncan’s Station Street Common last summer will be returning this year, but with a few changes.

Amanda Vance, executive director of the Downtown Duncan BIA which operates the food court, said there will be some modifications to the venue this year, including having concrete tables that will be in place 24/7 for the season instead of the small, portable tables that were used last year that had to be removed every night and put back every morning.

The food court was established in downtown Duncan during the summer months last year to assist local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly to address restrictions on customer numbers in restaurants brought on by the health crisis.


With the pandemic still ongoing and with restaurants still dealing with health protocols that severely limit their business as the warmer months begin, Vance said the association is working hard to have the food court open again by sometime in mid June or early July.

She said the DDBIA is currently applying for a number of grants to help pay for the venue this year, and the association was successful in acquiring a $10,000 grant from the City of Duncan’s COVID-19 grant program at the council meeting on April 19 for the concrete tables.

But one councillor raised a number of concerns about the plan at the meeting.

Coun. Bob Brooke said he believes placing concrete tables in Station Street Common would be a huge intrusion on the use of the green space.

He said he liked the layout last year with the little tables and chairs that made the area look like a bistro.


“It was very attractive and very well run, and while I understand that it takes a lot of effort every day to put the tables away and return them the next day, I think the city will incur a lot of cost mowing and weeding around these concrete tables,” Brooke said.

“I just don’t think it’s particularly attractive and the concrete tables limit the use of the property.”

Vance said the goal this year is to cover seating for restaurants and takeouts downtown 24/7, instead of just during the hours that the tables were in place, as was the case last year.

CAO Peter de Verteuil added that in discussions with Vance and the DDBIA, it was also pointed out that there were a lot of costs related to the constant moving of the tables and the oversight of the venue and, while the DDBIA has applied for more grant funding from other sources to meet labour costs this year, there’s no guarantee that the applications will be successful.


He also said that it won’t be much extra effort for park staff to mow and weed around the concrete tables.

Coun. Jenni Capps said granting the funding for the concrete tables would be a good use of the money.

She said people are already asking if and when the food court will be open this year.

“The food court hit a home run last year,” Capps said.

“I’ve received so many positive comments about it.”

The motion to grant the DDBIA funding for the tables passed, with Brooke opposed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Most Read