Workshops to freshen up downtown Campbell River

Celebrating Campbell River’s west coast heritage, having ample outdoor seating, a pedestrian-friendly core and live entertainment and events downtown, were among the top priorities identified by Campbell Riverites in the recent Refresh Downtown Campbell River survey.

The city received 920 survey responses from the general public and 550 responses from youth highlighting the community’s priorities for creating a vibrant heart of the community. The survey, which ran throughout the month of April, was one of the first steps in the Refresh Downtown Campbell River initiative.

“It’s clear that our downtown is the heart of our community and really important to our residents, and people are very keen to share their ideas for the future,” says Marianne Wade, acting community planning and development services manager. “Street trees, landscaping, street furniture, building storefronts, pedestrian activities, patios, event programming and ample parking in walking distance of downtown locations all ranked as key priorities.”

To take the community ideas gathered in the survey to the next level and begin to design concepts for streetscape improvements in the downtown, the city will host downtown design workshops on June 6 and June 8 at the Maritime Heritage Centre.

“The downtown design workshop is the community’s opportunity to help us shape the future of our downtown,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “We want our residents and businesses to provide their ideas as we develop designs for future capital projects in our downtown. This initiative will build on past projects such as Spirit Square and recent projects such as the St. Ann’s and Alder Street upgrades, beautification grants and the façade improvement program.”

The workshops will help develop options for downtown streetscape improvements. The designs will include roadways, sidewalks, public gathering spaces, lighting, landscaping, decorative features, bicycle areas, parking, signage and the look and character of buildings. The City is also undertaking infrastructure reviews for water, sewer, drainage and parking to be ready to support new development in the downtown.

“The Refresh Downtown Campbell River initiative will enable the City to be positioned to undertake new capital improvement projects in a phased approach as budgets, funding and grant opportunities, and new development opportunities arise,” Mayor Adams notes.

The workshops will include an initial hands-on design session on Monday, June 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. where community ideas will be gathered by City staff and MVH’s team of urban designers, landscape architects, planners and engineers. On Wednesday, June 8 a workshop from 6 to 8:30 p.m. will display preliminary downtown designs and principles based on community input.

“These design elements and principles will be used to refine the Refresh Downtown concept for the next series of engagement initiatives taking place in July and August,” Wade adds.

To sign up for information and keep up to date on Refresh Downtown Campbell River visit the project website at www.campbellriver.ca/downtowndesign.

For more information on the workshops, please call the City’s Community Planning & Development Services Department at 250-286-5725.