Time to re­vi­tal­ize our down­town

Richmond Hill Post - - News - Tom Muench Ward 2 Coun­cil­lor (Rich­mond Hill)

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.