Beautification brainstorming

Jamie Bennett
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Business community, city partnering for downtown improvements

Mark Tierney, of the Atlantic Canada Opportinities Agency, puts some ideas to paper at city hall Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 during a brainstorming session aimed at revitalizing the Corner Brook’s downtown.

CORNER BROOK  — Members of the local business community gathered Thursday for a brainstorming session aimed at sprucing up the city’s downtown.

The session was spearheaded by the city’s business resource centre and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and was held at the Hutching’s Room in city hall.

Representatives from such groups as the Downtown Business Association, Navigate Entrepreneur Program, Corner Brook Museum and Archives, Corner Brook Port Corporation, and officials from the city were in attendance.

During the sessions, the benefits of beautifying downtown were discussed, with comparisons made to the work being done in communities like Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Wolfville, N.S.

Shawn St. George of the Navigate program said revitalizing downtown is essential to convincing some of the 2,700 post-secondary students in Corner Brook to make the city their home after graduation.

“If we want them to stay, we have to create the atmosphere for them,” St. George said. “The living experience in Corner Brook needs to continue to grow into the 21st century. These are the kinds of meetings that take place in any community that’s moving forward.”

He said he believes good work is already being done, so by bringing the business community together, he’s hopeful future sessions will help build on this momentum.

“We have the capability to grow the downtown linking in with the assets we have,” he said. “We need to look at where we are now and try to build on it.”

R.J. Locke, the city’s supervisor of business services, agreed with St. George that the session is the start of a plan he hopes can captivate the community.

“Hopefully as you go on, more people hear positive things about it and it catches on throughout the community,” Locke said. “We really want to spread positive messages that there are good things happening here.”

While few plans were finalized at the meeting, Locke said future sessions will focus more closely on ideas shared by the group. He said there were no expectations for the first meeting other than bringing people together who have a stake in the vitality of downtown.

“Today was just a brainstorming sessions to get people in the same room,” he said. “It turned out very positive and generated lots of ideas. We want everyone to make a group decision rather than city staff just implementing something.”

Organizations: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Hutching, Downtown Business Association Corner Brook Museum Corner Brook Port

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Charlottetown

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  • ST
    January 18, 2013 - 20:10

    With regard to the vacant area across from Jennifer's on Broadway or "Ground Zero", there is a building planned for that site. I have seen the drawings for it and its rather nice, and in keeping with the look of the area. It should be completed by the summer of 2013. There is some hope.

  • Will Cole
    January 18, 2013 - 17:58

    With regards to the mindless, wanton destruction of civic property that chronically afflicts Corner Brook... sadly... I fear David is right. Unfortunalety, Corner Brook seems destined to retain more than its fair share of vandals, reprobates, and other assorted louts, rather than any post-secondary graduates. Probably due in part to the dearth of career opportunities predicated on actual merit and competence... I suppose a net result of the ubiquitous nepotism and cronyism typical of the place. It seems the chickens have come home to roost, and they're vandalizing the coop.

  • Donald K
    January 18, 2013 - 11:38

    About the biggest issue affecting our downtown, especially the Broadway area is the long standing glut of vacant buildings there. A renewed effort to get those buildings opened would bring more people to the areas and an increase of people would add the most beautification to our downtown core. The following buildings (for varying periods) have been vacant and have to be opened to truly add to the life, beauty and economic vitality of Corner Brook. Old post office, Johnsons Insurance, Seven Seas restaurant, Mad Man Murphys, Black thorn stick cafe, former nightclub next to the Newfoundland Emporium and another club building across from the Palace and of course, what I call Corner Brooks "ground zero", the open area where the big fire of 2002? happened and now a sad looking taxi parking lot. I imagine I'm missing a few buildings and I know the market place has a big role on what happens to all these places, but cant something be done to nudge the owners of those places to get them open again? That club building next to the Emporium has been closed for maybe 15 years? Work on this issue, get some opened and that will go a large ways in making our downtown more attractive. Thank you.

    • CITIZEN V
      CITIZEN V
      January 18, 2013 - 19:24

      Agreed, the downtown core of Corner Brook is in a deplorable state. I applaude the efforts of everyone making the effort to beautify it but the fact remains; as long as those unused buildings and Ground Zero continue to exist in their current state, nothing will change. I had a teacher that used to say "Dirt attracts dirt" and this is the exact case here. Clean it up, make use of these buildings, or replace them and get the downtown core active and vibrant again. That is what will produce beauty in this town. Right now everything has a delapidated, run down feel that a simple flower pot or two, a wall mural and a coat of paint just aren;t going to fix. Take it off life support altogether and get it re-invigorated with new business, new buildings and new life. Oh and Ground Zero... for the love of god, do something with that. That's a terrible eyesore in the heart of the city! Make it a park if you have to, green it up, do something... but don't let it sit there like that any longer!

  • david
    January 18, 2013 - 10:10

    Seriously? This is like banging your head against a wall. Corner Brook needs more chain link fences and locks, not more flower pots. Quit wasting taxpayer's money on insane, money-incinerating idiocy that ultimately gets vandlaized into new reminders of the depressing state of the City. It is what it is, not what you'd prefer.

    • Mr. Positive
      January 18, 2013 - 15:11

      Who is this David guy? It's commendable that guys like Mr. Tierney are at least trying to do something positive with the City. "It is what it is.....," what a depressing statement. Cheer up bye and run for council or something. You write in here enough, maybe you are the guy we need!? Quit hiding behind your keyboard and go for it!

    • david
      January 18, 2013 - 17:14

      It is not as much "commendable" as it is a denial of reality, a complete waste of money, a big disappointment-in-process. 100% certain, 100% predictable. You go buy your lotto tickets....just don't use my money.