#OurDowntown

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
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.

  • Council Greenlights Revisions to Municipal Stimulus Program Projects Including Additional Funding For Downtown Festival Square

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Lethbridge City Council last week voted 6-3 to proceed with a revised plan for Municipal Stimulus Program (MSP) funded projects which include the Lethbridge Airport renovations and Festival Square Market Plaza.

    In fall 2020, City Administration reviewed more than 25 potential projects against the Provincial MSP funding guidelines and submitted three for Council’s consideration. City Council approved the $12.06 million in funding to the City of Lethbridge be allocated to the Lethbridge Airport Renovation – Airfield Lighting & Pavement Rehabilitation ($11.163 million) and Festival Square Market Plaza ($900,000). These were submitted and approved by the Province.

    On June 15, administration provided an update to Council identifying that the Festival Square project would come in over the $900,000 budget due to a combination of inflation and revised scope. Council requested administration reach out to the Province to explore all options with the MSP funding and provide a report back to Council. The Alberta Government has since advised that while there was no additional funding available and a firm December 31, 2021, completion date for approved projects was expected, that flexibility would be provided to shift money between approved projects.

    As administration returned to Council on June 29, a recap of the Government of Alberta correspondence and an update of budget projections for all three MSP-funded projects was provided. The two Airport projects are able to be completed as scoped with a $1.9-million surplus and therefore, administration recommended to shift unspent funds on the Airport projects to the Festival Square project. This will allow Festival Square to proceed – without any City funding – to ensure that the project is delivered as an economic catalyst for downtown – and that no MSP funding will be left unspent.

    From the $1.9 million Airport project surplus, Council has approved:

    • $810,000 for Festival Square: $485,000 as tendered for water/wastewater servicing, lane rehab, community lighting, entry sign and decorative column lighting, plus $325,000 for additional components such as an interactive stage, a secondary entry sign, programmable lighting and site furniture (tables, chairs, and planters)
    • $1,090,000 for extended airport pavement rehabilitation

    “This is exciting news and I commend Council for looking into options to ensure these projects move forward,” says Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager. “This approval ensures strategic use of our resources by ensuring all MSP grant funding is used. This shows a balanced approach to the distribution of stimulus funding in two strategic locations supporting different segments of economic recovery. With Festival Square, we believe this is a great opportunity to build off the success of patio and parklet infrastructure investment. This project will revitalize existing assets, create jobs and stimulate the downtown economy, as well as support bringing people back to public spaces safely as health measures ease. At the same time, we have been able to address some critical upgrades at the Airport. Even with the shift of funding, we will be able to achieve more with the Airport Pavement Rehabilitation than initially planned which will support future airside leasing opportunities.”

    As part of the revisions, there are amendments to the 2018-2027 CIP ‘Grant – Municipal Stimulus Program’ allocations and corresponding totals to reflect the following: Lethbridge Airport Renovation (2018-27 CIP D-43) - $10,353,000; Festival Square Market Plaza (2018-27 CIP D-44) - $1,710,000.

    Construction timelines for the Airport Renovations and Festival Square will be updated at a later date.

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • New Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant Launched

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many plans being altered. However, with the Provincial Government's new "Alberta Open for Summer" plan, the Heart of Our City Committee (HOCC) has been proactive to re-image how to enhance the vibrancy of Downtown in the context of pandemic and post-pandemic realities.

    The new Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant aims to support businesses, entrepreneurs, organizations and community-minded individuals in implementing initiatives, events, and/or programs that seek to activate vacant, underutilized and under programmed private and public spaces and places – safely with COVID-19 restrictions in mind – within Downtown.

    The total funding available for the Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant in 2021 is $150,000, with applications eligible for up to $25,000. Funding is provided through the Downtown Redevelopment Fund's unutilized contributions to the previous HOCC Activity Grant, which was temporarily suspended in 2020 with the continual changes to public health restrictions severely impacting the ability to plan for events and festivals in the Downtown – which support vibrancy, safety and economic stimulus for local businesses. On an annual basis, the grant has supported 20-25 events and festivals which have attracted 45,000-65,000 people per year.

    The HOCC felt it important to do as much as possible to safely encourage people back into the vacant and underutilized spaces of Downtown by supporting initiatives that look to create a critical mass of activity that supports local businesses, fosters healthy and safe social settings, and provides a feeling of safety and security through positivity," says HOCC Chair, Lorien Johansen.

    With the hopes of supporting initiatives as early as July, the first intake of new grant applications is open now and will close on June 25. Applications will be evaluated and awarded by the HOCC and all successful applicants will be required to meet and adapt to applicable COVID-19 restrictions in effect at time of initiative.

    More information and the application form can be found here: lethbridge.ca/downtownincentives.


    Image from ContainR project in Calgary, AB - https://springboardperformance.com/containr

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • UPDATE: Festival Square Redevelopment: Detailed Design Stakeholder Engagement What We Heard Report

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Updated Post - Feb 24.2021

    On February 10, 2021 the City along with Stantec Consulting held an online engagement meeting to share more about the Festival Square reconstruction project and receive feedback on detailed design and construction timing.

    A What We Heard Report has been created that captures and shares the public feedback gathered in this event and can be found here https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/6524/widgets/25788/documents/50926. The recording of the online session can also be viewed at www.shorturl.at/dkI03.

    Related Information:


    If you have any further questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager at andrew.malcolm@lethbridge.ca or 403.330.4235


    Original Post - Feb 02 2021

    In spring 2020, the City completed conceptual designs for the re-imagining of Festival Square as a permanent market plaza space. The designs incorporated previous plans and studies as well as discussions with the City, HOC, Downtown BRZ, and stakeholders through a virtual meeting and public survey.

    The pandemic helped accelerate some of these ideas when an outdoor seating area was created this summer to help restaurants with their capacity limits. Further, in the Fall the City and Province both agreed that this project was a natural fit for economic stimulus funding and $900,000 in Provincial funding was allocated for design and construction.

    As a stakeholder, we would like to reconnect in an online engagement meeting on February 10 at 6:30 p.m. as we look at to share more about the Festival Square reconstruction project and receive feedback on detailed design and construction timing.

    More information on the vision of the project and the process behind the development of the conceptual designs can be found at https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/6524/widgets/25788/documents/44706

    If you are interested in attending, please contact Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager (andrew.malcolm@lethbridge.ca(External link)) to receive a link for the online engagement.

    You need to be signed in to add your comment.

    comment
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • Transforming Boring Building Exteriors Into Creative Community Canvases

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Are you a Lethbridge building-owner looking to brighten up an exterior wall?

    Are you a local artist seeking an opportunity to share your skills and talents with your community?

    The City of Lethbridge Public Art Committee, Heart of Our City Committee, and Allied Arts Council are seeking artists and building owners to participate in a mural pilot project. This pilot enables local artists and businesses to partner to create vibrant and accessible public artwork for the community to enjoy. Funding is provided by the City of Lethbridge Public Art Program and Heart of Our City Committee.

    A mural is an artwork painted or applied directly to a wall. Murals have the power to transform boring building exteriors into creative community canvases. They help add vibrancy by activating public spaces, promoting creative expression, and deterring graffiti vandalism.

    An Expression of Interest (EOI) must be submitted to seek participation in this pilot project. EOIs are due September 14, 2020. The application process for this project is competitive. A maximum of ten murals will be funded, at least half of which must be located in the downtown.

    Mural designs will reflect at least one of the guiding principles outlined in the City’s Public Art Master Plan: inclusivity, diversity, accessibility, creativity, sustainability, and quality. If the mural is located in the downtown, it will also celebrate at least one of the pillars of the Heart of Our City Master Plan: beautiful, livable, sustainable, exciting, accessible, and vibrant.

    The mural’s intention must be artistic and cannot include promotional or commercial content.

    Download the full call for EOIs at https://www.publicartlethbridge.ca/current-calls/.

    Image: Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association’s Back Alley Art Gallery Project.

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • Exploring Reductions in Downtown Speed Limits

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    We heard you Lethbridge! In June we asked how you felt about lowering the speed limit in the downtown as a tool to create road safety and a comfortable place for walking and cycling. Boy, did you respond. We had one of the highest survey participation rates we’ve ever seen with 2204 people giving feedback.

    In the end 77% of residents felt the speed should stay the same so we will not be moving forward with this initiative at this time. We will continue to explore other ways to improve the vibrancy of downtown and increase road safety for all visitors everyone.

    If you would like to read the What We Heard Report including survey results visit: https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/6524/widgets/25788/documents/38097/download

  • Seeking Feedback on Development of Downtown Persons

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    On June 22nd the Downtown BRZ, Heart of Our City Committee, and City of Lethbridge jointly announced a new and refreshed look for Downtown Lethbridge brand. As part of the next steps of implementing the brand, the downtown is looking to develop a better understanding of those citizens who currently use the downtown and how they would like to use the downtown into the future. This will allow for the evaluation of what services and amenities are missing from the downtown, and how to attract and retain businesses, organizations and residents in those spaces.

    Please take a few moments to complete the following public survey, it will remain open until July 24th, 2020.

    ACCESS SURVEY HERE: https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/ourdowntown/survey_tools/downtown-personas

    For more information on the refreshed Downtown Lethbridge brand check out www.downtownlethbridge.com.


  • Seeking Feedback On Festival Square Concept Designs

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    In early July, the intersection at 3rd Avenue and 6th Street South will be closed as part of the first phase of the 3rd Avenue Reconstruction project, while this phase will only take a few months this is the start of a project that will encompass the better part of the next two years. Upon completion 3rd Avenue will be transformed into a much more vibrant and safer environment for pedestrians.

    To build off of this project, the City, Heart of Our City and the Downtown BRZ have been discussing about making improvements to Festival Square (corner of 3 Ave and 6 St S) as a logical next step in the ongoing efforts of revitalization in Downtown. As such, Stantec Consulting Ltd. and their team of urban designers have been engaged in developing several conceptual design options based on previous plans and studies as well as discussions with City, HOC, and Downtown BRZ.

    We are now looking to share these options with stakeholders and users of the Downtown to find out what components you like, dislike, and any other thoughts you may have! We hope you are able to take 15-20 minutes to review the supporting information, three (3) concept designs, and provide us your feedback through a survey.

    Click here to access the survey!

  • Downtown Lethbridge ReOpening With New Look

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it's that we cherish being together with family and friends and that togetherness is at the heart of Downtown Lethbridge. As businesses rise up from a difficult time, Downtown Lethbridge has a new look, a new sense of identity and a much deeper appreciation for how much stronger we are – together.

    Over the next several months, residents will see many new enhancements that will showcase a new visual identity for Downtown Lethbridge. This includes parklets (on-street patios), light standard banners and a "Streetery" at Festival Square on 6 St. S., providing additional outdoor seating for food establishments while physical distancing remains in place. All of these items will showcase new Downtown Lethbridge branding that celebrates the originality of the downtown core with a uniquely crafted feel.

    "Over the years, we've had different groups working on the revitalization and development of Downtown, says Andrew Malcolm, City of Lethbridge, Urban Revitalization Manager. "We felt that we could be more successful in promoting the amazing things happening downtown if we did that all together under a single Downtown Lethbridge brand."

    The City of Lethbridge, the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) and the Heart of Our City Committee of Council have collaborated to gather feedback from businesses and use research for Economic Development Lethbridge's community brand project to develop the new direction for downtown.

    The groups received $50,000 in grant funding from the Alberta Government's Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program, to support this project.

    "We're really excited for this fresh new start," says Ted Stilson, Executive Director of the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone. "The new brand is about telling the stories of what makes Downtown Lethbridge special. The downtown businesses have been through a lot of change but they have grit and resiliency and they need our support now more than ever."

    Because Downtown Lethbridge is so many different things to different people, the new visual identity focuses on font and texture rather than trying to find a single icon that could accurately represent the downtown. Using the visual appeal of the repetitive letter within the words "down" and "town", the creative reflects on areas that are similar and highlights uniqueness – just like the brand story.

    "The new look for Downtown Lethbridge shows character which matches the people and places that are downtown," says Dawn Leite, Chair of the Heart of Our City Committee. "Just like Downtown Lethbridge, you'll notice it's not perfect, it's a little rough around the edges but it still has a fun and friendly feel. We were also able to use complimentary colours to the community brand and a similar "together" theme between the two."

    As the new Downtown Lethbridge brand is introduced to the community, residents are encouraged to share their favourite downtown shops, restaurants, events, activities and memories on social media using #togetherdowntown and #downtownlethbridge.

    For more information visit www.downtownlethbridge.com.

  • Taking It To The Streets In Support of Economic Recovery

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    In an effort to support businesses in their COVID-19 relaunch efforts, the City of Lethbridge will be expediting permitting for the use of sidewalks and streets to create outdoor patios, parklets and street vending in commercial areas. Opportunities for expanded outdoor seating will be vital in allowing businesses to serve customers while still following provincial health orders and ensuring physical distancing.

    For businesses in Downtown Lethbridge, the Heart of Our City Committee has developed an Outdoor Patio and Parklet Support Program. This includes a limited quantity of prefabricated parklet structures, planters, bistro tables and chairs that businesses can borrow. Further, the existing Main Street Incentive Program has been expanded beyond façade and signage improvements to include patio and parklet improvements. This expanded program will provide matching funding to businesses to assist with initial costs of developing their own patio or 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 and 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, NY. The City piloted parklets in 2019 with great success. This year’s program has been modified slightly to incorporate changes suggested through community feedback.

    A comprehensive handbook has also been created for anyone interested in exploring a patio/parklet options for their business. This resource includes operational and safety requirements, application form, and details on the review process. For more information visit: www.lethbridge.ca/publicspaces.

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel
  • Refreshing Upgrades Coming to Downtown

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Residents and businesses may notice work happening in the downtown over the course of the summer as enhancements are made to the public spaces. This project is part of the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and includes the installation of parklets (seasonal patio spaces) and replacement of street furniture, planters, banners as well as trees and grates. The objective of this project is to create vibrant, beautiful and accessible public spaces in the downtown while also improving overall functionality.

    Starting today, trees are being removed from the brick planters on the corner of 4 Ave and 6 St S in preparation for the replacement of both the planters and trees. There will also be additional tree removal happening at 5 Ave and 6 Street S.

    Planters are scheduled to be removed next week in several downtown locations. No road closures will be required for this work but parking stalls will be blocked off and fencing will be up in these area to ensure the safety of both worker and the public. The planter replacements are expected to be installed in June with new trees being added in a later phase of the project.

    These improvements are being made as part of the Public Realm Enhancement project and are in alignment with the Heart of Our City Master Plan, Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan, and the City’s Public Realm and Transportation Study.

    Initiatives in the project began in 2018 and are anticipated to be full completed in the summer/fall of 2021.

    For more information, visit: https://www.lethbridge.ca/living-here/Projects-Initiatives/Current-Projects/Pages/4-Avenue-Enhancements.aspx

    comment
    loader image
    Didn't receive confirmation?
    Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password. Forgot your password? Create a new one now.
    Submitting your comment
    Cancel