Jim Mountain, Director of Regeneration Projects, from National Trust for Canada, spoke to the Downtown Carleton Place Board of Directors and attendees at the September monthly board meeting last Wednesday night at Carambeck Community Centre.
Invited and introduced by Downtown Carleton Place Director, Rob Probert, Mountain spoke about the projects in the National Capital Area including the organization’s Main Street Canada® program that Downtown Carleton Place is participating in.
The National Trust for Canada has and does work all across Canada in assisting historical improvements in the modern business environment. Their efforts create value and a pathway for any business district. Reversing the long term effects of depopulation and service decline experienced by many smaller communities is what Main Street® is all about. Their approach to downtown revitalization focuses on results: generating economic and cultural activity that justifies renewed interest and investment. It is about people working together to revitalize the economic health of their communities, while preserving the character of their downtowns.
It is about building strong and vibrant communities. In each community, a local coordinator is hired to facilitate the process with a volunteer Main Street committee. The coordinator works as a catalyst bringing together businesses, municipal leaders, building owners, local organizations and volunteers.
The project involves consultations with business owners/property owners regarding tangible improvements to their properties. Preparation of draft designs and building condition reports are presented to the owners.
“The downtown that have achieved the most success and transformation have been patiently committed to revitalization efforts for decades” – Canadian Urban Report 2013
Mountain presenting the façade and building design work that was completed this summer for the Downtown CP district. This was a substantial project that will guide the façade improvements for much of the downtown. All the monies for this year were spent . The two projects on this grant were Brown & MacFarlane Glass and Giardino Lifestyle Salon and Academy, both located on Bridge Street.
In his conclusion, Mountain told the board and attendees, “Making downtowns strong and viable takes patience, a lot of cooperative action and everyone pulling together – business community, municipality, community groups and individuals. Change is constant -how you take hold of it, manage it and have a collective , community vision for the next 3-5 years and beyond is important. Work with your assets, your positives – the people, downtown s historic character, contemporary enterprises , local arts community – these are what make Carleton Place unique and sustainable for generations to come. ”
Everyone was then invited to ask questions and take a look at the draft designs completed for many of the downtown businesses.
This video tells how the Main Street® project has worked in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.