Dor­val by De­si­gn

Le Messager Lachine & Dorval - - LOCAL NEWS - DA­VID COX da­vid.cox@tc.tc

URBAN DEVELOPMENT. Over 100 Do­val re­si­dents, bu­si­ness ow­ners and lo­cal po­li­ti­cians came out to dis­cuss the fu­ture of their ci­ty du­ring two pu­blic consul­ta­tion mee­tings held at the Sar­to­des­noyers Com­mu­ni­ty Centre. Led by Dor­val Main Streets (DMS) and the BC2 consul­tan­cy firm, at­ten­dees ac­ti­ve­ly par­ti­ci­pa­ted in fin­ding a com­mon vi­sion of Dor­val’s fu­ture through group exer­cises and dis­cus­sion.

Ear­ly last year, the lo­cal bu­si­ness as­so­cia­tion DMS part­ne­red with the Ci­ty of Dor­val to de­ve­lop a re­vi­ta­li­za­tion plan for the ci­ty’s com­mer­cial areas, prin­ci­pal­ly Dor­val Ave­nue and La­ke­shore Drive. The consul­ta­tions held Ja­nua­ry 27 and 29 of­fe­red the pu­blic and mer­chants a chance to be­come part of the pro­cess.

Af­ter a brief re­cap of the re­vi­ta­li­za­tion pro­ject, the co­or­di­na­tor from BC2 as­ked each at­ten­dee what makes Dor­val unique for them and the ans­wers pla­ced on a pos­ter. Af­ter that, small groups were for­med around tables to dis­cuss how the com­mer­cial of­fe­ring, ap­peal and iden­ti­ty of Dor­val Ave­nue and La­ke­shore Drive can be im­pro­ved.

Af­ter the brains­tor­ming ses­sion, the table had to agree on three prio­ri­ties to present to ans­wer what should be done for both streets to be­ne­fit com­mu­ni­ty and vi­si­tors and im­prove the at­trac­ti­ve­ness and the user-friend­li­ness of the area.

ENGAGED CITIZENS

The groups came up with do­zens of ideas. Ma­ny spoke of di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of the stores and res­tau­rants and to bring in more eth­nic choices. Others said that a few in­ter­na­tio­nal re­now­ned chain res­tau­rants might at­tract tou­rists loo­king for the fa­mi­liar. The sug­ges­tions came in bunches and with a real pas­sion.

«The ener­gy was real­ly good. Eve­ryone was loo­king to get in­vol­ved. One of my fa­vou­rite ideas came from a tee­na­ger, who would like Dor­val to be­come a «smart» ci­ty with free WIFI, au­to­ma­ted shut­tles from the air­port to the ci­ty centre and in­ter­ac­tive pa­nels for vi­si­tors to know what’s hap­pe­ning,» ex­plai­ned Béa­trice Cuz­zi of Dor­val Main Streets.

Other ideas in­clu­ded dog parks, BIXI bikes, trans­for­ming the old theatre in­to an arts and cul­ture centre and land­sca­ping the sho­re­line. More fun­da­men­tal is­sues like bet­ter pu­blic trans­por­ta­tion and a link bet­ween the air­port, north and south Dor­val and a pu­blic mar­ket were al­so men­tio­ned.

BEAUTIFICATION AND REJUVENATION

At the end of the ses­sion, all these ideas, and the hun­dreds of others scrib­bled on the pads and table maps, were col­lec­ted by BC2 for exa­mi­na­tion and ana­ly­sis.

Their ob­jec­tive will be to create pre­li­mi­na­ry concep­tual plans that will ans­wer the main chal­lenges of the com­mer­cial and urban re­vi­ta­li­za­tion of Dor­val and of­fer re­si­dents and vi­si­tors two dy­na­mic and at­trac­tive com­mer­cial areas with a va­rie­ty that re­flects the di­ver­si­ty of the com­mu­ni­ty and ac­cess to the wa­ter­front.

Their re­port should be rea­dy by mid-march.

(Pho­to: TC Me­dia – Da­vid Cox)

Po­li­ti­cians, citizens, consul­tants and mer­chants ga­the­red to­ge­ther for a com­mon goal – a bet­ter Dor­val for the fu­ture.

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