New revitalization initiative announced
Cornwall has received $150,000 in provincial funding to undertake a comprehensive, community-wide revitalization initiative.
The funding is being provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) through its Main Street program. The city, Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce and the downtown and Le Village Business Improvement Areas are also contributing financially to the project.
Building on the ongoing success of Heart of the City (HOTC), Progress Boulevard will work with stakeholders to develop a longterm vision for the future of Cornwall's commercial areas. Whereas HOTC focuses mainly on building upgrades in the downtown and Le Village areas, Progress Boulevard will work with the businesses themselves, both in the traditional commercial areas and other parts of the city, to assess their needs and to find ways of meeting those needs. The initiative is being spearheaded by a management committee of community and business officials representing the various commercial areas in Cornwall. They are working to identify the issues confronting them and to learn as much as possible about the local economic and social situation. Once armed with this knowledge, they will be in a position to make informed choices, bring into focus an overall vision of the community's future development and pinpoint common objectives directed at achieving workable and lasting results.
"For those of us who have been working towards revitalization of downtown Cornwall, the Progress Boulevard (Main Street) funding is very well timed and greatly appreciated. Cornwall is 1 of 6 Ontario communities that can bring community stakeholders together to share their vision on community development and advise the organizational structure to implement that vision. Building on the success of Heart of the City as a revitalization initiative, we look forward to continuing Cornwall's success story," said Progress Boulevard committee chair Bryan Merkley.
Organizers have hired Kevin Lajoie for the role of project coordinator. His principal task is to encourage everyone to work in unison, to supervise the initiative and to help coordinate the revitalization process. Among other things, Kevin will be researching the retail/service needs of the community, shopping behaviours and perceptions of the commercial areas.
The success of this project hinges on the participation of all members of the community, and for that reason, officials are urging everyone to take part. It is the development of the community, by the community.
To find out more about Progress Boulevard or other revitalization efforts underway in Cornwall, visit www.cornwallheartofthecity.com.