A Vibrant Downtown

Sun Times: Making Downtown More Vibrant


About warrenreports

CEO of the The Warren Group and a public policy commentator.Former Ontario deputy minister,chief general manager of the Toronto Transit Commission and CEO of Canada Post Corporation.Chair and board member of a wide range of private and public sector organizations. r.michael.warren@gmail.com
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1 Response to A Vibrant Downtown

  1. Jo Ann Sauks says:

    Excellent article as usual Michael. Yes, downtown Owen Sound is certainly dragging its heals into becoming a dynamic attractive experience. Downtowns that I find walkable and enjoyable usually have a mix of “trendy” shops and cafes, green grocers and book stores (oh how awful we lost one of our few real assets with the demise of the Downtown Bookstore). Two storey buildings with such shops below and residences above are usually present. Therefore most of what the residents need are located “just down the road”.
    I remember Craig Curtis years ago said that an area needs 7 or 8 interesting businesses in order to create a viable, on going and interesting place to be. It then becomes self sustaining, possibly attracting even more such businesses. It will then become a destination point for outsiders.
    Jean Francis started something with her rather delightful renovation on the river – others need to pay attention. Landowners certainly could upgrade their rental units into something more trendy, more appealing. Why don’t they? Ennui? Already rather high taxes? Something else?
    Yes, having artists move into a depressed area is often a harbinger of neighbourhood change but I believe it is something they figure out on their own – needing interesting space in low rent areas.
    It would be a good thing if Georgian College brought back a terrific arts programme as I understand they had in the past.
    When I win the huge lottery I will buy that old brick building on the river that has been for sale as long as I have been here and renovate it into something beautiful and useful!
    Happy Canada Day to you and Elizabeth

    Jo Ann


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