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Q: Why is the Town undertaking this project right now?

A: The Town is undertaking this project for two primary reasons: [1] To develop a long-term plan for the Town’s key waterfront assets, including Beacon Wharf and Bevan Fishing Pier. Both are in need of maintenance and are expensive to maintain, repair, or replace. [2] To identify options to enhance the vitality of the downtown waterfront, making it a vibrant, attractive destination for locals and visitors alike. Doing so will mean re-imagining existing elements as well as looking at new ideas that will contribute to a strong, cohesive waterfront vision.

Q: What makes a successful downtown waterfront?

A: There are a number of factors that contribute to a successful downtown waterfront. Some of these are: [1] a series of great destinations along the waterfront, [2] surrounding buildings with active ground floors that enhance public spaces, [3] activities throughout the day/night and throughout the year, [4] design elements that increase everyone’s enjoyment (e.g., high quality and well-placed seating, lighting, public art), [5] easy access by foot, bike, and boat, [6] embracing the water and related activities/uses, and [7] strong management toward the area’s vision.

Q: Will businesses be affected during this process?

A: This process is designed to create a long-term plan that can be implemented in the future. Therefore, businesses will not be affected while the vision is being developed.

Q: What is a ‘vision’?

A: A vision document is a long-term plan for a defined project area, which is usually founded in strong public consultation and addresses physical design, policy, and programming/land use.

The Downtown Waterfront Vision will go beyond the general  policies that are already in the Downtown/Downtown Waterfront Local Area Plan to provide a series of specific recommendations, concept designs, and implementation strategies for the area. The vision will subsequently inform future capital investment, bylaw/guideline development, and Council decision-making regarding the area.

Q: It seems like the Town is working on other similar projects. How are they all related?  

A: The projects that the Town is currently undertaking are connected in different ways. The study areas for the Parking Study, Density Review Study, Downtown Waterfront Vision, West Sidney Local Area Plan, and Downtown Streetscape and Urban Design Standards project are all connected physically by Beacon Avenue. Many of the projects overlap in terms of study areas as well as context. For example, the Density Review Study, Parking Study, Downtown Waterfront Vision, and Downtown Streetscape and Urban Design Standards are all focused primarily around the downtown core. Additionally, aspects of each individual study affect other projects, such as the relationship between density and parking or businesses being affected by the connectivity between the waterfront and the downtown.

While the projects are connected in some regards, they are each individual projects with different timelines and their own public participation events. Please check the Projects and Initiatives page  for more information on each individual project.