Downtown Collingwood – Here’s what I would do…………..

Continuing from my last post, I believe the following would revitalize Collingwood’s downtown core area:

1. Close Hurontario off to traffic from 1st St to 3rd St to create a pedestrian boulevarde. Install locked bollards across each end that are removable by emergency vehicles.
2. On Highway 24 at Poplar Side Rd install signs saying no entry to Highway 26 through downtown, downtown traffic only. So through (Collingwood) traffic is directed east and west on Poplar Side Rd. The idea here is to stop traffic bottle necking downtown if these people are not intending to go downtown.
3. The parking area behind the town hall gets designated for commercial development 2 floors of which becomes a shopping mall. With 3 levels of multi vehicle parking above that. This creates a draw to downtown, keeps within the height restrictions that were the problem with Admiral Collingwood Building. Replaces lost parking spaces along Hurontario which are easier to charge for and control because you don’t get to leave the parking lot unless you pay. Just like parking is enforced and paid for in 99% of the rest of the world.
4. Town still owns land and collects parking revenues plus property taxes from businesses located in new mall. A win win situation for town, how much money is that land creating right now?
5. The exterior of this new mall gets a similar look to Loblaw’s.
6. Another commercial development in the Loblaw’s parking lot. The focus on this area could be an entertainment complex with bowling alley and a smaller cinema which caters for the movies that do not get shown in the Cineplex (most of the movies that I want to see). Above this 2 floors of parking for Loblaw’s and this new development, it also acts as extra parking for stores on Hurontario St.
7. The arena gets refurbished with a cement floor under ice. The emphasis on the arena is more for public skating, ice skating, ice dancing shows, concerts, etc. So we lose all the hockey type paraphernalia to give it a warmer feel. We still allow people to rent the ice for pickup hockey and practices, but hockey is not the main focus. Note: This scenario would have worked a lot better if we had twin ice pads up at the Y.
8. On the Hurontario pedestrian boulevard the emphasis is on stores that sell local crafts, galleries for local artists, gourmet local food products, restaurants, coffee shops, a brew pub. Banks are then free to relocate out of the downtown core. These stores, restaurants and galleries have minimum opening hours and must stay open until a designated time in the evening (like Blue Mountain Village).
9. With the extra parking that has been created downtown by items 3 and 6 above some of the parking area in front of the Admirals Post and Tesoro’s could then be turned into a glass enclosed year round farmers market place for weekends and holidays.

Some of the things I suggest above ensure that rather than force people to come downtown to do mundane things like banking and visit a dilapidated arena in the hope that a few dollars gets spent along the way. We have created a real reason for people to come downtown, not only for locals but visitors also.


3 thoughts on “Downtown Collingwood – Here’s what I would do…………..

  1. I have a lot of thoughts on this but I’ll preface first that I have no experience in municipal politics or city planning. Also I just moved into town 6 months ago and don’t know the history of town or the development of some of the properties.

    I think a couple of your points are valid and some others are not. A bowling alley in the down town core or a movie theater that caters to the needs of “you” may be a stretch. Please note the sarcasm. But I do agree with the development of business in the core. I like the idea of closing down streets in the interest of foot traffic. I also like the idea of diverting SOME traffic. You do want some people driving through the core to see what we have to offer?

    Some things I think we need to consider:

    Free Wi Fi in the core. Get people out of the Starbucks and maybe onto a street bench or park to do their websurfing outside in a our great city See what Stratford did.

    Another is a board to attract small and large business to Collingwood. A nice example of that is More tech start ups and incentives to do that. I could go on at length about this but I won’t.

    A strong push on the advertisement of the water front. I’ve had multiple conversations recently with people that had no idea that Collingwood is on the water. Let’s get this giant asset working for us! Again I don’t know the history of the silos or who owns them but this should be retail board walks with park space, boat shows, poker runs, art in the park. Wake stock is a great start…keep them coming.

    A boutique hotel in the core…on the strip. All the hotels are leaning out towards the mountain or surrounded by those ugly big box stores. People don’t stay in their rooms…they walk around. Great foot traffic.

    I’d love a Brew Pub in the down town…but I’d also like a Mexican Restaurant where you can get a good Carne Asada. But that would be personal interest. ; )

    More buildings and Galleries along the lines of the Tremont Studio or Enterprise Bulletin building. Pushing and developing the arts in the core.

    More people living in the Core. More people live there…the more poeple will use it and walk around in it. Downtown Condos and dual purpose structures.

    Get that hole filled in and the land taken away from that developer that has been sitting on that whole for over 6 years. The Admiral by Charis developments. This land needs to be taken away from them and any other properties they own in the core and are doing nothing with.

    I think their should be a board that approves the development of some of these buildings in regards to esthetic and keeping buildings with in the theme off the core and some of the nicer buildings. The new Library is stunning. More of this please. And as good a job as Loblaws did. Not sure if this is a fairly new build. But they failed miserably in regards to mountain rd. There was no consideration taken into account for the backside of that building and it’s now what architects refer to as dead space. That block will never have anything nice on the south side of the street because all you have is a large brick wall with no character.

    That’s all I can say for now as I have to get to work….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s