Ladysmith’s First Avenue wins national Great Places in Canada contest – Great Street!
Ladysmith, November 8, 2017 – Ladysmith’s beautiful and historic First Avenue has been selected by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) as Canada’s 2017 Great Street. The award was decided by a jury of certified planning professionals during the Great Places in Canada contest. CIP’s review of 17 submissions from across Canada was based on a set of criteria of planning best practices that considered social, economic, and accessibility and safety factors, and elements such as design, culture, history, and landscape.
First Avenue exhibits all of the qualities one would expect from a great street: visually-interesting building facades, generous sidewalks, attractive landscaping and artistic details, places to rest, and places to gather.
This street, with its diverse mixture of local businesses, housing and services, has been a focal point of daily life for community members for more than a century. Streetscape enhancements, heritage preservation, the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and the many unique and publicly accessible festivals and events held throughout the year, are key ingredients to First Avenue’s success as a Great Street.
The jury acknowledges the community’s commitment to defining and celebrating First Avenue as the heart of Ladysmith’s downtown core.
“We are absolutely thrilled the Canadian Institute of Planners has chosen First Avenue as Canada’s Great Street. This is an incredible honour for our community and showcases the pivotal role First Avenue has played in helping to shape Ladysmith’s identity as a charming, diverse and vibrant west coast community,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone.
Great Places in Canada contest winners were announced on World Town Planning Day, an internationally celebrated day that recognizes the accomplishments of professional planners and their contributions to communities. Other British Columbia winning communities included Coquitlam, which was awarded Great Public Space for its Town Centre Park, and Main Street in Smithers, which received the People’s Choice: Great Street.
“The last time a B.C. community received the Canada’s Great Street honour was back in 2011. Winning this award for 2017 truly acknowledges our community’s commitment to defining and celebrating First Avenue as the heart of downtown Ladysmith and highlights the significance of this exceptional street and its importance to our community,” said Guillermo Ferrero, Town of Ladysmith City Manager.