#OurDowntown

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Downtown Lethbridge

#OurDowntown is an opportunity to highlight and share information on the revitalization efforts in Downtown Lethbridge as well as an opportunity for the public to participate in an ongoing conversation by contributing with comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions on social media with#OurDowntown or by contributing to this Get Involved Lethbridge conversation as opportunities arise.

#OurDowntown is an opportunity to highlight and share information on the revitalization efforts in Downtown Lethbridge as well as an opportunity for the public to participate in an ongoing conversation by contributing with comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions on social media with#OurDowntown or by contributing to this Get Involved Lethbridge conversation as opportunities arise.

  • Downtown Lethbridge introduces Heart of the Holidays

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    Lethbridge, AB – Downtown is the heart of our city and this year, in support of the many great small businesses that call downtown home, it is also the heart of the holidays. Starting November 15, visitors will enjoy five weeks of events and activities including outdoor skating and business promotions highlighting the originality of downtown Lethbridge.

    Heart of the Holidays will replace the one-day Bright Lights Festival which has been a downtown holiday tradition for the last 18 years. By spreading events out over a longer period of time and providing more variety, this new holiday tradition hopes to attract more people to the downtown core.

    “The Bright Lights Festival has been great but it was just one night and it was very dependent on weather, says Ted Stilson, Executive Director of the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone. “Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens now has an amazing lights display for residents to enjoy so it was time to look at something different for the downtown. By switching things up and introducing a new event, we hope everyone will find something that will bring them downtown this holiday season.”

    Skating in festival square will be one of the main attractions as part of the Heart of the Holidays event. Festival square (the small parking area on 6St. S.) will be transformed into a skating rink for the week of November 15 - 24 and December 7 - 14. The Downtown BRZ, The Heart of our City Committee and Lethbridge Sports Council have partnered to bring the outdoor skating rink to the downtown. There will be synthetic ice (see attached photo) installed and maintained for the public to skate on free of charge. There will also be additional lighting and seating provided as well as treats for skaters to enjoy.

    “Over the years, something we’ve continually heard through community engagement is that residents would enjoy a place to go outdoor skating,” says Andrew Malcolm, City of Lethbridge Urban Revitalization Manager. “Our Lethbridge chinooks have always been a concern in maintaining ice but by having a synthetic ice surface, which we’ve borrowed from Lethbridge Sport Council, we now have a solution. We are really excited to offer this new opportunity for friends and family to meet downtown and enjoy skating together this holiday season.”

    Over the next several weeks, Heart of the Holidays will also introduce:

    • Selfies with Santa – find Santa downtown and take a selfie for a chance to win great prizes.

    • Downtown Holiday Market – November 23 at Casa. Shop local at this special market showcasing downtown Lethbridge businesses.

    • Plaid Days - Dec 6 & 7
      Shop local this holiday season and enjoy great deals from unique businesses. Catch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage while sipping hot chocolate then hop off for a skate at festival square.

    For more information on all of the exciting events happening for the year’s Heart of the Holidays in downtown Lethbridge visit: www.downtownlethbridge.com.
  • Downtown Featured at City's Community Conversation - Oct 23rd 3-7pm @ ATB Centre

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    The City of Lethbridge is hosting an open house on Wednesday October 23, inviting residents to learn about, and engage in, the development of our city.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    ATB Centre
    74 Mauretania Blvd. West (enter through the ice centre doors)

    There are a number of specific projects related to the Downtown that will be included in the event and the City's Urban Revitalization Manager will be on hand to discuss featured projects as well as overall strategic direction for the Downtown and core of the community.

    If you are/were unable to attend the project boards/information can be found in the following locations:

    - 3rd Avenue Reconstruction Project (https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/third-avenue)

    - Cycling Functional Planning Study (https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/Cycling-Master-Plan)

    - Parklet Pilot Program (https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/6524/documents/20117);

    - Proposed Increases to Parking Rates and Fines (https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/6524/documents/20118).


    This event will also include opportunities to learn about:

    • Legacy Park
    • Japanese Garden Pavilion
    • University Drive Twinning
    • Crossings Playground
    • Fire Station #5
    • Bicycle Bylaw
    • Play Charter
    • Metis Trail
    • Scenic Drive North
    • Transportation Safety Plan
    • Downtown
    • Utility Box Painting
    • Library Art Project
    • Parking Rates & Fines
    • Indigenous Cultural Centre
    • Waste & Recycling
    • Airport
    • Municipal Development Plan
    • 5 Avenue N/13th Street
    • Intersection Improvements
    • 3rd Avenue S Reconstruction
    • Stafford to Mayor Magrath Drive
    • Mobility/Accessibility Master Plan
    • Henderson Park Irrigation Replacement
    • Intelligent Community
    • Economic Development Lethbridge
    • Property Assessment

  • Applications Now Being Accepted for 2020 HOC Actvity Grant

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    Applications now being accepted for 2020 Heart of Our City Activity Grant

    The Heart of Our City Committee has completed a review of the Activity Grant to ensure the program is meeting its intended purpose as well as the needs of the organizations who look to utilize the grant to bring exciting events to the Downtown every year. The committee is excited to announce that following consultation with past applicants and an in-depth review, there are few changes to the program proposed for 2020 and that applications are new being accepted.

    The purpose of the Activity Grant is to provide funds to help Lethbridge organizations host festivals and events that create an exciting and vibrant downtown and attract audiences to the city centre.

    Events and festivals located in the Downtown core or in the Civic Common are eligible for up to $10,000 annually provided they are not already receiving funding from other City of Lethbridge sources. Grants greater than $1,000 are conditional on the applicant organization providing 50-per-cent matching funds. Applicants must be a not-for-profit or apply under the auspices of an affiliate or sponsoring organization with not-for-profit status.

    Heart of Our City Activity Grant applications will be accepted until November 29, 2019. Information and application forms are available at: www.lethbridge.ca/HOCactivitygrant.

    Applications will be evaluated by a grant review committee based on how the event or festival contributes to an exciting, animated, and vibrant experience in Downtown. Successful applicants will be notified of a grant decision as soon as possible after December November 11, 2019.

    Media Contacts:

    Andrew Malcolm

    Urban Revitalization Manager

    403-320-3926

    andrew.malcolm@lethbridge.ca


  • Construction Begins on First Project Funded by Targetted Redevelopment Incentive Program

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    The City of Lethbridge is excited to announce the start of construction on the first downtown redevelopment project accessing the Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Program (TRIP). Six08 Health (formerly East Meets West) will participate in the new municipal tax relief program as they embark on an estimated $4.8 million redevelopment project at 608 5 Ave. S.


    "We are excited to welcome Six08 Health to the downtown and to be able to get shovels in the ground, and sledgehammers through walls on our first TRIP project," says Andrew Malcolm, City of Lethbridge, Urban Revitalization Manager. "This is a fantastic project that represents the biggest single private investment in the downtown in nearly 20 years. It will bring more people, more activity and more vitality to the downtown and we are optimistic it is the first of many large redevelopment projects coming to our city's core."

    Construction has now started on the project which is expected to open to the public in February 2020. Six08 Health will bring together a multitude of health care professionals including massage, acupuncture, chiropractor, physiotherapy, psychology, dental, family & GI specialty medical, pharmacy, and supervised childcare. This unified team will have the common goal of providing optimal patient-centered care within a new state-of-the-art facility in downtown Lethbridge.

    "Lethbridge is growing and we knew we needed to expand to keep up," says Dr. Sean Hantke, Six08 Health, Clinic Director. "When we were looking at where to create our new home, being part of the downtown just made sense. Our business is all about building positivity and being proactive. It was a perfect fit to work with the City and bring these attributes to the downtown, making Six08 Health a big part of the revitalization efforts. We're excited and proud to be a part of it."

    To help encourage redevelopment in the downtown, Lethbridge City Council has approved this project for TRIP which will, for a period of time, cancel the municipal tax increase the business would have incurred after the renovations are complete. With a construction value of $4,850,000.00 the Six08 Health project qualified for a 7-year cancellation. The annual tax cancellation is +/- $88,000 for a total tax cancellation for the project of approximately $616,000.

    The City benefits from this program in that, once the short-term cancellation period is over, a far greater amount of taxes are received due to the increased value of the property. For the Six08 Health project, the City will receive an estimated $88,000 more in annual taxes than what was being received prior to construction. This is income that will be received every year following the 7-year cancellation period.

    TRIP is available for projects with a minimum construction value of $1 million. Encouraging redevelopment in the downtown will lead to greater property values and enhancements that will draw more activity to the downtown core. For more information on this and other downtown incentive programs visit www.lethbridge.ca/downtownincentives.


  • Downtown Project Celebrates Blackfoot Language

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    Downtown Lethbridge is proudly located within the territory of the SIKSIKAITSITAPI, the Blackfoot Confederacy.

    The United Nations declared 2019 to be the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Indigenous languages and their speakers are being lost at an alarming rate, which has a direct impact on the transmission of culture and knowledge within all communities, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Language also plays a significant role in place-making, identity and wellness.

    Promoting Blackfoot and all Indigenous languages spoken in Lethbridge contributes to the well-being of our community and helps us to celebrate the values and culture that make Sikóóhkotok (Lethbridge) unique. The Heart of our City Committee and the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee invite you to learn more about the languages and cultures of the Indigenous peoples who call this City home, starting with the original Blackfoot greeting of this territory, OKI.

    A new project has been unveiled and is set to tour the Downtown in celebration of Indigenous language and Reconciliation Week.

    The three-dimensional word "Oki", the traditional Blackfoot greeting, has been created in celebration of the United Nations year of Indigenous Language.

    The unique collaboration between the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee (RLAC) and the Heart of Our City Committee (HOCC) can currently be seen on the grounds outside the Galt Museum and Archives. The project, which was designed and manufactured in Lethbridge, is made to be mobile and will be moved around the downtown for different events and celebrations.

    Heart of Our City Committee member and Blackfoot Knowledge Keeper, Jordan Head, says the funding provided by HOCC was a natural step for the committee as it aligns with one of the committee's key values.

    "The Heart of Our City Committee hopes to celebrate and bring greater awareness to the fact that Downtown, like the rest of Lethbridge, is located on traditional Blackfoot territory," says Head. "We want to continue demonstrating that the Downtown is an open and welcoming environment for a diversity of uses, users, and cultures."

    "We know that language plays a huge part in building community, in the transferal of knowledge and in the empowerment of Indigenous people," says RLAC Co-Chair, Amanda Scout. "The Oki project is a creative and visual way to celebrate our Blackfoot culture in the city and we hope it starts more conversation around Indigenous culture and language."


  • Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal Now Open... includes 293 parking stalls for employees of Downtown

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    The Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal is a multi-purpose facility that provides residents with a comfortable and safe location to access City transit services. The building is also home to regional transit partners Red Arrow and Highway 3 Connector and adds additional parking options to support growth and development in the downtown.

    The facility which opened to the public on August 28, 2019 and is located at 705 - 5 Avenue South (behind the downtown Post Office).

    The new Transit Terminal will provide residents with a comfortable and safe location to access regional and City transit service that is protected from the weather and offers amenities such as transit pass purchasing and washroom facilities.

    To access real-time transit information visit http://myride.lethbridge.ca or download the Lethbridge Transit app. For more information on the Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal project visit www.lethbridge.ca/parknride.

    Parking

    This building includes a three level parking structure with 293 stalls.

    • A parking staff member is located inside the facility to assist with any of the monthly parking inquires during business hours.
    • A scrambled reserved monthly parking fob for within the Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal can be purchased inside the facility at the parking information booth.
    • Motorists with a valid monthly Park 'n' Ride fob can park in any stalls located on the covered decks of levels 4 and 5 or the level 6 roof deck.
    • The cost for access to the scrambled reserved monthly parking area is $105 (GST INCLUDED) plus an initial fee for the creation of the 24 hr access fob.
    • Those with a parking fob will have 24 hr access to the facility and the 4. 5 and 6 level parking decks.
    • This is a secure facility with on-site security during transit hours and 24hr camera surveillance.

    Here are some things to know about this new downtown facility.

    Lethbridge Transit Hours of Operation
    Mon-Fri | 5:45 a.m. to midnight
    Sat | 7 a.m. to midnight
    Sun & holidays | 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    Visit myride.lethbridge.ca for real-time Lethbridge Transit information.

    Red Arrow Hours of Operation
    Mon-Fri | 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Sat | 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Sun & holidays | 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Visit www.redarrow.ca for more information.

    Highway 3 Connector Hours of Operation
    Mon-Friday | 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Visit www.highway3connector.ca for more information.

    Facility Elevator Hours of Operation
    Mon-Fri | 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    Sat-Sun | 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    Red Arrow Drop-off & Parking
    Those dropping friends and family off for a Red Arrow trip can do so in front of the elevators on the third level of the parking structure. Riders can then take the elevator or stairs to the main floor waiting area.Parking is available for Red Arrow passengers on level 3. Registration is required at the Red Arrow office prior to departure.

    Site Security
    Security guards are on-site during all operating hours. Video surveillance from 38 different cameras is operational 24/7, 365 days a year.

    Breeze Card Purchases
    Lethbridge Transit breeze cards can purchased at the Red Arrow ticket office during Red Arrow operating hours.

    Lost and Found
    Lots of belongings get left on buses and in the terminal. The lost and found for both local and regional transit can be found at the Red Arrow ticket office. Lost and found items will be collected at the Park 'n' Ride at the end of each day. For those missing an item, they can check at Red Arrow office the following day or call 311.

    Parking
    Parking is available at the Park 'n' Ride facility for a monthly fee of $105. Secure parking is available on levels 4-6 of the parking facility. Those wishing to try the parking, can do so, free of charge, until the end of Oct. Parking fees are expected to take effect on Nov. 1. Those wishing to rent a parking space can talk with the on-site parking administrator or call 311.

    For more information visit www.lethbridge.ca/parknride.


    For More Information head to www.lethbridge.ca/downtownparking



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  • Parklet Program Pilot Launches Downtown - Feedback wanted!

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    If you’re looking for a nice place to enjoy some summer shade, look no further than downtown Lethbridge. The City of Lethbridge, in partnership with the Heart of our City committee, is piloting a new project to provide outdoor seating spaces for downtown businesses in the form of a Parklet.

    A Parklet is a temporary seating area that replaces one or two parking spaces by extending from the sidewalk in front of the business into the street. Parklets were first introduced in 2005 in San Francisco and today are a mainstay in communities small and large, from Fernie, BC to New York, New York.

    More people and more activity creates a more vibrant downtown. Parklets help foster a sense of community by creating places for people to sit, relax, visit and enjoy the city. By converting parking space to people space, Parklets make cities more welcoming and people-friendly. They support local businesses by create a sense of place, beautify the streets and make walkable destinations for residents.

    The pilot program offers two forms of support for businesses interested in establishing a Parklet in front of their business. The first option is financial support for the design and construction of a Parklet including a matching grant up to $1,000. The second option is to borrow the City owned Parklet infrastructure at no cost to the business. With either option, the pilot program will also cover the $300 fee for a Parklet permit.

    As a pilot, the Heart of Our City committee will be gathering community feedback from businesses, customers and clients to determine if this is something that could become a more permanent fixture in downtown Lethbridge in years to come.

    For more information on this and other projects to enhance public spaces in the downtown visit www.lethbridge.ca/publicspaces.

    Residents can give feedback on the Parklet pilot project here.

    To inquire about piloting a Parklet at your downtown location contact Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager at 403-320-3926.


  • Recently Approved Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program Ready to Launch

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    Recently Approved Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program Ready to Launch

    Applications for the City’s new Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program will be accepted starting August 26. The program provides a matching grant to those wishing to renovate or adapt existing buildings that have historically significance, are deteriorating or that need improvement to meet current fire and building codes.

    The Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program aims to support business and property owners in addressing the financial barriers that come with aging buildings. By giving new life to existing buildings, there is significant economic, social and environmental benefits for the community. This program will help add function, safety and vibrancy to the spaces that make Lethbridge unique.

    The Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program can provide up to $100,000 in matching funding per property and applies to buildings in the downtown, warehouse district and 13 St. N.

    City Council approved $900,000 in funding for the Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program as part of the 2019-2022 Operating Budget. This will be spread out over the 4-year period.

    Applications will be accepted throughout the year. Should there be inadequate annual funding to meet demand, applications will be held in queue and processed in chronological order as funding becomes available.

    Details on the program including eligibility and funding can be found website at: www.lethbridge.ca/downtownincentives.





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  • Exciting Events and Festivals for 2019

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    Temperatures are warming, snow has melted, fresh buds on the street trees bloom, patio chairs have been placed outside cafes, and sidewalk activity is picking up. Spring in our Downtown is here.

    Spring also signals the start of the always exciting event and festival season in our Downtown. The great variety of activities and events attract critical animation, vibrancy, and overall positive awareness of Lethbridge Downtown as people from across the entire city and region make their way downtown on a regular basis to takes in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the amazing festival season.

    Many events receive funding through the Heart of Our City Committee’s Activity Grant program which provides City of Lethbridge funds to help local organizations host festivals and cultural or community events within the downtown core. In 2018, 23 events were provided grant funding which resulted in 115 days of additional event based activation of the downtown drawing approximately 65,000 visitors into the Downtown.

    The 2019 Heart of Our City Activity Grant lineup looks to be one of the most exciting years with a variety of music, arts and cultural festivals occuring over 114 days with an anticipated draw of over 60,000 people. This year will see new events funded including: 6th Street Best of the Best Festival, CariBridge Caribbean Carnival, Farmers Market Cartoonist in Residence, Festival of Lights/Dance, Hootenanny Outdoor Children’s Play, and Shelter Me in the Park. This is in addition to some of the reoccurring events that residents have come to love including: Arts Days , Feel the Beat, Jazz at the Park, Pridefest, Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival, Centric Musicfest, Shakespeare in the Park, Word on the Street and Wide Skies Music & Arts Festival.

    In addition to the Heart of Our City Festivals there are many other events and festivals that take place in the Downtown core including Celebrate Downtown (this Thursday!), First Fridays, Street Wheelers Show and Shine, Downtown BRZ Farmers Market, Taste of Downtown, and much much more!

    To stay on top of the 2019 events and festival schedule including dates, times, and additional information make sure to regularly check the downtown event calendar at www.downtownlethbridge.com.

    I challenge every resident to help Our Downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City Committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column with us on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntownwith yourcomments, questions, ideas, and suggestions .




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  • Celebrating Downtown Champions

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    We often use the term revitalization when we talk about the work we are doing in downtown Lethbridge. But what does revitalization really mean? First and foremost, we aimed to create vibrant spaces through positive change. We are challenging the status-quo with investment opportunities and the implementation of programs and services that are helping to create revitalization.

    The process is slow and continuous and although individual aspects or projects can be completed, revitalization as a whole is an ongoing process. Every time a new shop opens, a vacant building gets new tenants, a property slated for demolition is restored, or a festival light up a street, we are seeing the exciting effects of downtown revitalization.

    The challenge with revitalization is that it hinges on the concept of change, which we know is a tough for many, especially when it is in relation to where we live, work or play. Commitment to change is made much easier when you have champions. Champions are those outstanding individuals, businesses, and organizations who embrace change and lead through their actions..

    We are extremely lucky that we have so many champions who work tirelessly day in and day out to enhance and promote our downtown. On April 11 we will celebrate those champions at the Celebrate Downtown awards put on by the Heart of our City (HOC) committee.

    Nominations for the 7 Celebrate Downtown award categories closed on March 1st with 120+ individual nominations. The Celebrate Downtown subcommittee is extremely excited by the number of nominations this year, and has a difficult task at evaluating and making a decision on who will take home the awards.

    The Celebrate Downtown award event will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Multicultural Centre (421 6th Avenue South) where downtown friends, neighbors, colleagues and community contributors will have an opportunity to honour our downtown champions while enjoying appetizers, drinks, and live entertainment.

    Information on the nominees can be found at www.lethbridge.ca/downtown and by following the event on Facebook at www.facebook.co/celebratedowntownlethbridge, where there is also information on how you can get your FREE ticket today.

    I also want to remind our downtown business community about the next upcoming safety seminar taking place April 16 at Casa from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The session topic will be on event safety and security including how to protect your business when there are large influxes of people in an area. More information on these monthly sessions can be found at www.lethbridge.ca/safetyeducation.

    I have been encouraged by recent engagement on our Downtown and continue to challenge every resident to help our downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City Committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column and the BRZ’s #OurDowntown video series with your comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions and engaging with us on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntown and at www.getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/ourdowntown.




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