As Calgary struggles to reinvent its greater downtown, there might be lessons from Columbus.
Blog comparing Calgary and Columbus with respect to the redevelopment of its downtown over the past 20+ years. There are some similarities to what Columbus faced 30 years ago and what Calgary is facing today.
Boyle Street Community Services — an Edmonton-based service organization — has linked their annual giving campaign to local business support
The goal of the 2021 Community Sustainability campaign is to reciprocate local giving; this time, offering a helping hand to the Edmonton-based businesses that have supported the community. By committing to becoming a monthly donor for Boyle Street Community Services, donors will also be supporting a local business of their choice. Donors will be sent a gift card equal to the value of the first month’s donation to the local business of choice
New pop up park in downtown Edmonton in a former parking lot
A new pop-up park is taking root downtown! Enjoy the fresh spring air at Root 107 – an inclusive public space filled with colourful mural art, greenery, and unique seating areas made from recycled materials. Grab some takeout at one of the neighbouring restaurants or food trucks and enjoy in the sunshine!
The City of Calgary has approved an initial $200 million for a new downtown plan
Downtown must transform towards a more balanced mix of residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism, and culture. The City and its downtown partners must make the bold moves required to shift from vacancy to vibrancy. An initial investment of $200 million is focused on areas that will start to lower office vacancy, improve downtown vibrancy, and support the development of thriving neighbourhoods that attract residents, visitors, and talent for downtown’s businesses
The City of Edmonton is transforming a series of surface parking lots into a new downtown park
Located in the Downtown Warehouse District, the Warehouse Campus Neighbourhood Central Park will cover 1.33 hectares (roughly 13,300 square metres or just over 2 football fields) between 106 Street and 108 Street and Jasper Avenue to 102 Avenue. The downtown population is expected to significantly increase in the next decade. This park will serve as a major public amenity for residents and businesses. The design of 106 Street from Jasper Avenue to 102 Avenue will be integrated into the scope of work for Warehouse Campus Park. This project is a significant catalyst project identified in the Capital City Downtown Plan, and is fully funded by the Capital City Downtown Community Revitalization Levy.
Province of Manitoba offers $25M in funding for ‘preservation, development’ of empty historic downtown Bay store
A Calgary restaurant created a bingo card as a means to get people out to support through takeout and outdoor dining. With two grand prizes of roughly $1000 to give away, participants eat well and show love to establishments.
See contest rules below:
1. To enter for the grand prizes support at least three of the participating restaurants by ordering takeout or visiting their outdoor patio.
2. Post your food/drink item while tagging both @empireprovisions and the restaurant. Use the tag #YYCRestoBingo. Each tag counts as one entry. BINGO (5 posts) will get an automatic $20 GC from Empire Provisions and count as ten entries into the grand prize draw.
3. Participants need to be following the restaurants they are tagging to qualify. The hashtag #YYCRestoBingo must be used to be entered as we are using it to track the entries.
4. Participants must be 18+ to play.
Artist turns 3D scans of buildings in Toronto’s Chinatown East into a multi-player board game
Linda Zhang, professor at Ryerson’s School of Interior Design in the Faculty of Community & Design, created this board game to create dialogue about what’s worth preserving and what the city’s Chinatowns should look like in the future. It’s on display now, including a large-scale 3D printed installation of Chinatown East Gate, at Vancouver’s Griffin Art Project as part of an exhibit called Whose Chinatown?, a collection of projects by Chinese Canadian artists about Chinatowns throughout the continent.
Edmonton city council approves $22.9-million tax break grant program for residential developers building downtown
The program designed to bring growth to the core of the city, eligible projects must be built in a defined “Centre City” area. The incentives include freezing property taxes until 2027. The intent of the program is to provide financial relief for construction projects in the city’s core that might not be able to proceed without that support.
Ottawa’s ByWard has created a Holiday Box with curated food items found in a variety of local shops
Each box lets the purchaser support over a dozen local businesses and helping them and their family have a better holiday season as well. There are two options: pick up or local delivery.
The City of Montreal is rolling out new winter activities for the pandemic for the entirety of the 2020-21 winter season.
- implementation of 25 “winter stations” designed to allow Montrealers to enjoy the city’s outdoor public places — including squares, parks or vacant spaces near commercial hubs — during the winter. The winter stations were designed in collaboration with local architects and designers and are part of the city’s effort to encourage Montrealers to buy local, as the downtown stations will be situated near shops.
- winter activities in Montreal parks and beyond. This will include winter markets, but also winter sporting activities in almost every major Montreal park beginning in December. Since sports-related activities are prohibited in COVID-19 red zones, the city is allowing for outdoor play by making cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, ice skating and fat biking available. Montrealers can borrow equipment for free.
- heated areas and restrooms will be available to allow Montrealers to warm up after a day of activities.
- parks will also offer an outdoor “ocean” expedition presented by the Biosphere, to allow Montrealers to observe the birds, flora and fauna of the area.
Activities can be booked online through the city’s website. More details will be made available in the coming weeks on the city of Montreal’s web portal.
Student-designed test project aims to improve safety and vibrancy downtown
The City of Calgary, the University of Calgary, the Calgary Downtown Association, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and Bow Valley College have been working on the 9 Block program, a series of safety initiatives to improve vibrancy and safety in the nine blocks that surround City Hall. The program works collaboratively with neighbours and community partners to improve the area.
The centrepiece of these improvements is the installation of a canopy and lighting at the bus stop in front of the University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) downtown campus. Mauricio Soto-Rubio, the research lead, and students from SAPL designed and fabricated the installation to improve the safety and vibrancy issues in their neighbourhood.
A shop local campaign in Edmonton encourages locals to #adoptashopYEG
A local Edmonton blogger spearheaded this campaign which is on its third iteration. Struggling businesses are nominated to be adopted and people sign up and commit to spending a certain amount in the shop (i.e., $60). The list of shops represented 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour)-Owned shops. In November 2020, 200 sign up spots were filled for #AdoptAShopYEG: ATB Neighbourhood Hop! At a $60 minimum spend per person, we’ll collectively spend $12,000 at 64 businesses across Edmonton. Patrons are also encouraged to post on social media.
The City of Vancouver is seeking feedback on potential policy changes that encourage “retail continuity,” by filling vacant ground-level storefronts with new uses.
In the Downtown Eastside, Hastings and Powell streets are lined with vacant storefronts, dogged by the area’s social issues. The City of Vancouver is aiming to create policies that could potentially help reverse this trend.
The City of Montreal is implementing new measures and $6 million in funding to encourage Montrealers to visit main streets & buy local
Six new actions include:
- installations in the downtown area for the winter season designed to “add to the shopping experience”
- financial support for campaigns implemented by merchants’ groups and chambers of commerce
- adding $1.5 million to the Commercial Activities Consolidation Fund, designed to support small businesses to ensure they can increase the quality of services, including on the digital market and the physical development of their place of business.
- free on-street parking on weekends
- businesses can extend opening hours to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 7 p.m. on weekends from Nov. 14 to Dec. 31
- support and promotion to continue urban delivery for local merchants
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS ECONOMIC RECOVERY STRATEGY
To generate such an economic recovery strategy, Heartland Forward (HF) has undertaken an extensive and detailed analysis of the NWA region’s strengths, challenges and opportunities. Our team has arrayed and assessed comprehensive data on its economy and industries, its small businesses and startup ecosystem, talent base, changing demographic composition and quality of place that stems from its arts, culture and recreation efforts and initiatives to develop a robust strategy for post-COVID-19 recovery.
By Ross DeVol, Richard Florida, Joel Kotkin and Dave Shideler
Edmonton’s Downtown Recovery Task Force launches a Downtown Clean-up Event.
Join the Downtown Business Association, Downtown Edmonton Community League, and partners on the Downtown Recovery Task Force for a huge Downtown Clean-up Event.
On October 23rd between 3-5 pm, Edmontonians will take to the streets to help keep our city clean to the Core. Once complete, help us celebrate the kick-off of winter patio season Downtown! The first 200 registrants will receive a $5 voucher from the DBA redeemable at select Downtown patios that evening. All registrants will receive an e-notice within two days of the event noting their street clean-up assignment and where to pick-up their appropriate clean-up gear courtesy of the City of Edmonton Capital City Clean Up team.
Montreal setting aside $400,000 for urban design and cultural activities in a bid to lure visitors downtown
- Several public spaces will be redesigned in keeping with health guidelines, with 1,000 low-cost parking spaces made available at Complexe Desjardins and Palais des congrès to entice drivers.
- Seven large terrasses and public squares will be set up at locations such as Jardins du Centre St-Jax, Place d’Youville and the corner of St-Laurent and René-Lévesque Blvds.
- Pop-up performances — from live music to circus acts and mobile cabaret — will take place on weekends in various locations from Thursday through Oct. 15. More than 150 artists will be involved in giving roughly 200 surprise performances.
- Discounts on various attractions, hotels and restaurants will be offered via the mtl.org website.
Buy Local Ottawa: Links to support Ottawa’s small and locally owned businesses as the local economy reopens
Ottawa’s small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of the city. To help support as the local economy reopens, useful links and resources are assembled on this page.
- #MyOttawa Pass is Ottawa’s very own local savings passport, complete with an impressive collection of discounts and offers from businesses across the city.
- Shop Ottawa is an online directory of local businesses, products and services.
- Local Eats Ottawa offers a compiled list of Ottawa restaurants offering food delivery or pickup.
- SavourOttawa.ca is a one-stop site on how to buy locally produced food and beverages in the Ottawa region.
- Together-Apart.ca is a resource for the residents of this city to find local spots to order from and support.
- Edible Ottawa to ensure that local food communities remain strong.
- Love Local Delivery to order from Ottawa’s best independent, locally owned and operated food businesses! Easy Scheduled & On-Demand delivery provided by dedicated, carefully vetted and smart-serve trained drivers.
- And links to local BIAs that offer detailed information on local business offerings
Victoria’s Economic Recovery Strategy “Victoria 3.0” – Recovery Reinvention Resilience – 2020-2041
Victoria 3.0 has three main goals. The first and immediate focus is on supporting businesses to adapt to a new normal and become more resilient in light of experiences and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has shown us how precarious our small businesses and our local economy are. The South Island Prosperity Partnership has created a Rising Economy Taskforce with 13 subcommittees that cover all aspects of our regional economy. Victoria 3.0 is meant to be complementary to and nestle within this important regional work.
Montréal is creating a pool of Montreal designers and architects to design and implement temporary urban development projects for commercial streets.
Selecting a group of qualified and competent bidders will thus allow the city to be more agile in awarding professional service contracts by mutual agreement. In this way, boroughs and city departments as well as the Sociétés de développement commercial will be able to call on pre-qualified teams to design and implement measures that address their issues, such as modified routes and user mobility, safe boarding and disembarking of public transit users, waiting lines for businesses, outdoor sales and consumption areas, functional and technical pickup and delivery spaces, rest areas and street furniture (e.g., washrooms, benches, no-contact garbage receptacles). Given the experimental nature of the temporary development projects both currently underway and to come, it is important to make good use of a range or high-performance solutions that can be deployed throughout the city
Restarting Restaurants, Food Services & Retail webinars for Downtown Victoria businesses
Run a restaurant or food service business? Have questions about reopening and operating safely during COVID-19? Join us Wednesday, June 10th 10AM – 11:30AM for a FREE Q&A session. The expert panel includes the Chief Medical Officer for Island Health and the BC Restaurant and Food Association. These sessions are co-hosted by the Downtown Victoria Business Association and Community Micro Lending. As we adjust to living and working with COVID-19, we’re offering two sessions to help businesses reopen and operate safely: Two webinars planned:
Restarting Restaurants & Food Services on Wednesday, June 10th 10AM – 11:30AM
Restarting Retail on Thursday, June 11th 11AM – 12:30PM
New crowdfunding platform to save small business in Ottawa
A pilot project in Ottawa hopes to boost their chances with community crowdfunding, which has emerged as a vital tool for the social impact sector. Could it provide a model for Main Streets across Canada?
Downtown Kamloops’ BIA COVID19 web & social media platform
Three focus areas: DOWNTOWN TO GO, a #Supportlocal campaign; BUSINESS is OPEN, information on Downtown Kamloops Businesses that are closed (temporarily), offering take-out, pick-up, online stores and other business models that will help the community stay #ykastrong; COMMUNITY & INNOVATION showcasing how Downtown Kamloops businesses are pivoting; and RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Artists Create Murals on Closed and Boarded up Shops across Main Streets in Vancouver
Vancouver artists are working together during the COVID-19 pandemic to create some beauty through public murals. Much of the city’s busiest areas have turned into ghost towns and storefronts are being boarded up. But the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) is commissioning artists to transform those fronts with temporary works of art.
Halifax mainstreet BIA creates online platform for shops and services
The Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association launched an online version of the street’s shops and services at www.quinpool.shop. The site includes links to many Quinpool shops, services and restaurants that have transitioned their businesses into online sales, deliveries and arranged pickup.
A platform for supporting local bars and restaurants through the purchase of gift cards
Eatlater helps people to find restaurants, bars, wineries by location across Canada, and support them through thepurchase gift cards.
City of Cornwall platform to purchase gift certificates for downtown businesses
The Campaign to Save Main Street is a website to allow customers to purchase gift certificates for local small businesses in Cornwall, Akwesasne, and SD&G Counties.
An online platform to help support local business during COVID-19
Local businesses can register for distantly.ca and community can donate funds to support specific businesses. The platform doesn’t charge a platform fee and funds are sent within 48 hours to local businesses.
Downtown Medicine Hat Development Incentive Program
The Incentive Program offers downtown property owners a series of incentives to assist them to redevelop or initiate new developments in the city center and includes five options for financial assistance. Architectural and Visual Enhancement, Commercial Development, Live-Work Residential Development, and Multi-Family Development.