Downtown revitalization well under way

Stephanie Chandler
By Stephanie Chandler
August 1st, 2013

Trail residents can expect to see big changes on the downtown horizon over the next couple of years, according to city councillor Kevin Jolly.

“Creating a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly downtown core, giving patrons a reason to slow down and take the time to go onto our downtown streets, instead of just passing it all and crossing the bridge,” he said, is a key goal for the downtown revitalization project.

Downtown development will include improved signage and marketing, and a loop trail for walking, which will eventually incorporate the new river footbridge that is still in the planning stages.

One focus this year, according to Jolly, is beautification. Creating public spaces that include places to sit and public restrooms, and an attractive, inviting atmosphere is at the forefront of the project. The construction of a public square on the Esplanade to complement the new library/museum project is on the agenda as well, with rest areas, spaces dedicated for socializing and enjoying the river view.

Jolly explains the city will aim to, “make the library space attractive and inviting to young families,” which he said he hopes will encourage people to come and spend more time downtown, seeing what Trail has to offer.

To encourage new development in the retail sector, small businesses are being urged to take advantage of the tax incentive bylaw, which exempts business owners from paying tax on improvement renovations. Some businesses have already begun to access this incentive.

With all of the changes coming, Jolly reminds residents to have patience; these are ambitious projects that will take some time to start bearing fruit.

“As long as we have consistent, forward progress, with citizens engaged in beautification and infrastructure,” he said, Trail will become a more vibrant, thriving community of dedicated citizens and businesses.