Chamber Supports Downtown Vision
For many months, city officials, community stakeholders and professional consultants have been deliberating a new vision for the downtown – a Downtown Master Plan and Action Strategy. The plan will be a blueprint for downtown development for the next thirty years. It is both visionary and practical; ambitious and doable.
The draft Downtown Master Plan and Action Strategy is built around three complementary directives each containing a list of initiatives that address different issues facing the downtown today. These directives include: activity and growth, access and connectivity, and beauty and pride.
The projects are identified as short, medium and longer-term initiatives that will result in transformational change to our city core. Proposals like the greening of Elgin and Paris Streets, the Franklin Carmichael Art Gallery, Innotech Park, multi-use meeting and conference facilities, parkades, Tom Davies Square retrofit, the extension of St Anne’s Road and Larch Street, Elm Street calming, landscaping and on street parking, residential expansion, pedestrian and bike paths, to name only a few of the more than fifty ideas identified.
The chamber has been following progress on the Downtown Master Plan for months and recently received a presentation on the final draft. Our Board has unanimously endorsed the report and has shared its support with the Mayor and Council. “This document is a great example of how persistent collaboration with citizens and businesses can produce practical, innovative actions,” said chamber Chair, Mark Weiman. “The Board is thrilled with the short-term and long-term actions listed and hopes council will adopt the plan and pursue the projects required to ensure real change.”
We share the vision of our downtown as an active, safe and diverse destination for people, businesses and investment. Ultimately, it will require the bold leadership from governments, the private sector and citizens to ensure the plan becomes a reality.