Time to revitalize our downtown
Given the agitation of traffic congestion, the wish for residents to have a vibrant downtown and the need to respect our heritage history, retailers, the municipal government, business associations, residents and the development industry are actively engaging in discussions about revitalizing downtown Richmond Hill. The town is discussing unprecedented investment, such as moving the town hall to a centralized location. The focus is to regenerate its underutilized downtown core and protect its priority heritage sites, while creating a people place.
Richmond Hill is a community like many municipalities struggling to find the balance between developing a downtown core that is hospitable to pedestrians and shopping while embracing and managing transportation flow. The question of what to do with our downtown core has been a community topic with many proposals over the last 30 years. Plans range from creating ring roads to developing underground lanes for buses and cars as well as parking for local merchants. Meanwhile, walking districts, moving the town hall and creating a people (and community) place, while respecting community values such as the Terry Fox statute are all potential focal points.
Thinking (or perhaps daring to dream) of a vibrant, quaint downtown, where people, cars, mass transit, heritage and business thrive in a centralized location, is something all of us in the area should strive for and could achieve.
Revitalizing our downtown core is vital to community success. Roundtable meetings will continue, and this local councillor believes all of us must work together to make our community stronger.