An Open House and citizen engagement opportunity was held in the Queen St. office of The Downtown Business Improvement Association in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The lovely mid- summer temperatures brought several people to 496 Queen St, where conversations and ideas were shared and mulled over. Thursday, July 28 from 6-8 pm was one, in a series of public open houses to be held in order for the Downtown Development Initiative, Engineering and Planning Department (City of Sault Ste. Marie) to hear from citizen voices.
‘Citizen involvement is critical to developing a successful strategy and ensuring community objectives are achieved. The new strategy will mark the third phase of the Downtown Development Initiative and will help cultivate vibrancy, inclusivity, prosperity, and fun in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.’
One idea Saultonline heard being shared by a downtown resident is a ‘rickshaw’ transportation business. Having lived on Canada’s west coast where rickshaws are plentiful and widely used, she introduced that idea as a way to cut down on noise, fumes from vehicles along the downtown corridor, as well as creating employment opportunities for physically fit entrepreneurs. “They’re (rickshaws) used more and more around the world, especially in high volume tourist areas.” the attendee shared.
“Many cities across Canada have the same challenges that Sault Ste. Marie has with their downtown areas, and, for a number of different reasons, are struggling.” shared Steve Turco, Planner with the City of Sault Ste. Marie Planning Department.
A survey was launched to elicit ideas and strategies for downtown revitalization, and so far, 1,200 people have taken the time to share feedback. (Take the Survey Here) But do it soon. The survey wraps up shortly after the August long weekend.
‘On June 27, 2016, City Council approved a Downtown Development Initiative Report evaluating current conditions in the downtown and proposing policy directions and major projects for the new strategy.’
For more information, http://www.saultstemarie.ca
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