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City takes a look back at 2023


It was a big year for the City of Prince George in 2023. The first full year of the newly elected council saw a lot of progress made, while ongoing societal issues of homelessness and the rising cost of living continued to be felt by residents.


Premier David Eby meets with Prince George city council. City of Prince George photo


  • The parking lot at the former Four Seasons Leisure Pool site opened on January 4, 2023. Parking stalls there are available to rent for $1 an hour or by the day for $6. Like other City lots, parking is free on weekends, statutory holidays, and on weekdays after 5 p.m. The lot is temporary but will remain in service for several years until the Civic Core District Plan is complete.
  • The City’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccine program was suspended on January 13, following negotiations with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 399 and 1048. The mandatory vaccine program came into effect in November 2021 in response to the Provincial Government’s then-recommendation that employees in large organizations be fully vaccinated against coronavirus.


  • After two days of deliberations, City Council voted on and passed a 7.58 per cent tax levy for the 2023 municipal budget.  
  • Special Olympics British Columbia announced they had awarded the City of Prince George the honour of hosting the 2025 Special Olympics BC Summer Games. The announcement was made public in Kamloops at the 2023 Special Olympics BC Winter Games. Council received the news from Administration on Monday, February 6. The 2025 summer games – which will run from July 10 to July 13 – will bring approximately 1,400 athletes and their coaches, family, and friends to Prince George. 
  • City Council awarded former Prince George mayor Lyn Hall with the Freedom of the City at its February 27 meeting. The Freedom of the City is the highest honour a municipality can bestow on a distinguished person or unit of the Canadian Armed Forces (or another nation).
  • The City issued two heavy snowfall declarations late in the month, one on February 21 after more than 30 centimetres of snow fell in less than 24 hours, and another on February 27 after a storm. In total there was over 60 centimetres of snow recorded in February.


  • Former City Councillor Murry Krause was awarded Prince George’s Freedom of the City at the March 27 Council meeting. Krause first began an active role in the community when he opened a youth hostel on 2nd Avenue in 1972. He worked many years as chairperson for United Way and went on to serve on Council for 23 years where he chaired a multitude of committees. 


  • City Council joined the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in requesting the federal government meaningfully consult with local governments on Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) policing costs in the future. The resolution came at the heels of the 2023 federal budget that confirmed communities relying on RCMP services for local policing (like Prince George) are expected to cover the costs in full, including the most recent retroactive amount of $5.374 million associated with the RCMP collective bargaining agreement covering 2017 to 2023.
  • City Council met with B.C. Premier David Eby on April 14 to discuss the challenges affecting the unsheltered homeless, residents and businesses in Prince George’s downtown core. “People want to see solutions to challenges related to encampments in BC communities, and housing to help people move inside, safely,” said Premier David Eby. “Following our initial meeting in January, I was pleased to meet with Prince George’s Mayor and councillors again to explore ways to work together on these challenges for the benefit of everyone living in Prince George.”


  • Demolition of the old Fire Hall #1 on 7th Avenue began in May. The old building next to City Hall was torn down on May 21. Four-way traffic lights were also installed at the intersection of Dominion Street and 7th Avenue. The old Fire Hall #1 was built in 1956, making it 67 years old.  The future of the site will be determined as part of the Civic Core planning process.
  • Seasonal flooding of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers saw several local parks and trails close. The affected areas were at Cottonwood Island Nature Park, Paddlewheel Park and the Heritage River Trail.
  • Council approved changes to the Parks and Open Spaces bylaw at the May 8 meeting to permit overnight sheltering at the Lower Patricia encampment area. Council also approved several other community safety options, more details are provided in the May 9, 2023 media release.
  • The City of Prince George was awarded a $25,000 grant administered through the Union of BC Municipalities for Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) training, exercises, and equipment modernization. The grant funder was the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR).


  • Construction on the roundabout at Foothills Boulevard and 18th Avenue began.
  • At the June 12 City Council meeting, Council received the life cycle cost analysis report for the proposed Mega Park project again after requesting more information in December 2022. The total cost of the park features and the operation, maintenance, and eventual renewal of the park’s infrastructure over a 50-year period was shown to be more than $68 million.
  • On June 14, the City and the Province of British Columbia entered into a Memorandum of Understanding representing a coordinated approach to resolution of encampments that prevents entrenchment, improves health and safety, preserves dignity for homeless encampment residents, respects the need for culturally appropriate services for Indigenous peoples, and considers the needs of the surrounding community.
  • June saw popular weekly event Foodie Fridays return to downtown Prince George for the first time since 2019. Foodie Fridays brings food trucks, vendors, entertainment – and hungry residents – to Canada Games Plaza throughout the summer months. 
  • Staff presented Council with a six-month update on significant capital projects at the June 26 Council meeting. The report informs Council of the City’s capital budget and performance for significant projects over $1 million and indicates total capital expenditures are below the total approved budget allocation.


  • The new daycare located on Malaspina opened to children. The 15-year lease agreement between the City of Prince George and the College Heights Community Association to operate the new Malaspina daycare under Kool Cats Family Care was approved in late June. The Malaspina daycare is one of three facilities funded by the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund and the Union of BC Municipalities Childcare Space Creation Fund. 
  • The City of Prince George launched a communications and engagement survey. The City engaged Discovery Research to conduct a mail-in survey of a random sample of 1100 residents, plus an online survey was conducted. The purpose of the surveys and gathering this information is so it can be used to develop a City communications and engagement strategy.


  • The City launched the Civic Core District Plan project. The Civic Core District Plan (CCDP) is a guide that defines the long-term vision for the municipal properties in the downtown area near the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre. It will have strategies, along with timelines, for how to enhance the area while also meeting needs of those who live and work in the community. The community was asked to provide their vision for the area through in-person community visioning sessions, pop-up booths,  and an online survey.
  • On August 22 Prince George Fire Rescue responded to a reported explosion on the 400 block of Dominion Street. Following the explosion of the building, sections of Dominion Street between 4th and 5th Avenues remained closed for a week. In total there were nine buildings surrounding the explosion site that had their windows blown out. More than 50 businesses in the area were impacted from residual damage as a result of this explosion and three people were injured.
  • The City of Prince George put out reminders urging all residents to do their part to secure garbage and other attractants during a record summer for bear sightings in the area. The Conservation Officer Service released information in mid-August saying they had received more than 1200 calls since the start of August regarding human-bear conflicts in Prince George, leading to 21 bears being put down.
  • The City of Prince George and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities (Jumpstart) proudly announced the grand opening of the Jumpstart Multi Sport Court in Carrie Jane Gray Park on August 29. Spanning over 28,000 square feet, the new Jumpstart Multi Sport Court is the largest of its kind built in Canada to date. Designed to accommodate physical, cognitive, and sensory disabilities, the recreation space supports casual play and a variety of organized sports and para sports, such as basketball and pickleball.


  • Following ongoing safety concerns, and in a bid to address encampments within Prince George, Millennium Park was cleared and secured on September 11. Occupants were required to vacate the park, along with any personal property they wished to retain, pursuant to a notice of trespass posted by the City on August 31, and an evacuation order from Prince George Fire Rescue Services Chief posted September 8.
  • The City of Prince George kicked-off the Official Community Plan (OCP) review with a community survey and a scheduled open house. An OCP communicates a community’s vision, goals and objectives and outlines long-term development plans. It also guides planning and land use management. The City’s existing OCP was adopted in 2011. Drafting of the OCP, including additional community engagement sessions, will now begin and continue through until August 2024.
  • The Shane Creek Bridge resurfacing project was completed in late September. The project required the closure of University Way. The project, which commenced on August 22, included replacement of the old bridge deck as it had reached the end of its useful life.
  • The single lane roundabout at the intersection of Foothills Boulevard and 18th Avenue was completed and open to motorists on September 28. The project, which was delivered on time and under budget, was funded in part through City reserves, the Canada Community-Building Fund, and developer contribution.


  • The City kicked off budget consultation with an online survey and three community town-hall sessions with the city manager and directors.
  • Council approved $950,000 for the CN Centre audio system to be upgraded. The funding comes from the Northern Capital and Planning Reserve fund.
  • The City announced it had entered into an agreement to purchase the Knights Inn Motel located at 650 Dominion Street, Prince George for $4.15 million. The purchase agreement comes with a completion date of March 14, 2024. BC Housing currently leases the property and intends to continue to do so after the completion date, with a proposed new two-year lease agreement in place from March 31, 2024 to March 30, 2026. 
  • The third daycare project under the Child Care Action plan – the The Tsuhl’ Cho/Huckleberry child care centre, began operating. The Tsuhl’ Cho/Huckleberry child care centre is a collaborative project in partnership with the Prince George Native Friendship Centre that offers wraparound community support services for children and families.


  • Retired architect and notable documentarian of the region’s history, Trelle Morrow, was awarded Prince George’s Freedom of the City at the November 20 Council meeting. Morrow’s architectural career spanned 40 years and he designed such notable buildings as the former Prince George Citizen building on Brunswick Street and Sacred Heart Cathedral. 
  • Council was presented with a report outlining options and impacts of a change to a bi-weekly schedule for solid waste pick up including compost service options. Council gave approval for the Solid Waste team to procure professional services to assist with the formulation of a City of Prince George Solid Waste Management Plan. The plan would help inform the requirements for implementing a bi-weekly collection model. Ideally, this process would begin in 2024.
  • The Annual Civic Light Up returned to Prince George coinciding with the Tree of Lights event. The popular local event featured live entertainment, crafts, hot chocolate and more. 


  • Council directed Administration to procure consultant services to prepare conceptual options and site design(s) for the Civic Core District Plan area that includes community consultation results and previously identified priorities including arts and culture and arena uses as described in a report presented at the December 18 meeting.  
  • The Finance & Audit Committee recommended approval of the projects listed within the Draft 2024-2028 Capital Plan report. Approval of capital project early in the budget process allows procurement to begin now to meet deadlines for work to be done in the spring. The report highlights there are two new debt funded projects being proposed for 2024: the Hart Sewage Lift Station Replacement with a budget of $7.3 million and Stormwater System Renewal at $2.55 million.

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