The 2017 Great Places in Canada and the People’s Choice Places

The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2017 Great Places in Canada contest. After a rigorous review process by a jury of certified planning professionals, the Institute bestows the title of 2017 Great Street on First Avenue (in Ladysmith, British Columbia), 2017 Great Public Space on Town Centre Park (in Coquitlam, British Columbia), and 2017 Great Neighbourhood on Spring Garden Road/Schmidtville (in Halifax, Nova Scotia).

In addition to inviting the public to nominate a space, CIP conducted an online vote allowing the public to determine what place they think should win. With over 8,000 votes cast, the public determined the 2017 People’s Choice winners, with Truro Civic Square (in Truro, Nova Scotia) voted as 2017 People’s Choice Public Space, Spring Garden Road/Schmidtville (in Halifax, Nova Scotia) voted as 2017 People’s Choice Neighbourhood, and Main Street (in Smithers, British Columbia) voted as 2017 People’s Choice Street.

The Canadian Institute of Planners would like to thank all nominees for submitting their Great Place! The jury had a difficult decision to make, but most importantly we were able to celebrate the lasting impressions that planners have on communities. Thank you!

GREAT PLACES IN CANADA

  • Iconic streetscape of First Avenue

    Town of Ladysmith, British Columbia

    Jury Statement

    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.

     

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  • Historic Schmidtville-Birmingham St

    City of Halifax, Nova Scotia

    Jury Statement

    Spring Garden Road/Schmidtville is a dynamic and vibrant neighbourhood in the heart of Halifax, which serves as a central place to live, work, and play for all Haligonians. It is located in the middle of the business district, major university campuses, and the waterfront where the cruise ships dock, and provides for a diverse mix of residential and commercial activities. Numerous residents, students, and tourists go to the shops, restaurants, and cafes on Spring Garden Road, which is the main commercial street in the neighbourhood. As one of Halifax’s first suburbs outside the fortified fences, Schmidtville is a largely intact area of architectural character with significant heritage value, reflected in its narrow streets and old world charm. The City of Halifax has recognized the value in preserving mixed use neighbourhoods in the downtown for decades, making investments in public infrastructure that enhance the design and architectural features. Similarly, many residents have also renovated their homes, further contributing to the appeal of the area.

    The jury was won over by the multiple strengths of the neighbourhood – its walkability, unique reflection of local history, cohesive mix of residential and commercial uses, and the significant role it already plays as a Great Place in Halifax.

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  • The Summer Concert Series at the Plaza

    Town of Coquitlam, British Columbia

    Jury Statement
    Once the site of a gravel pit, Town Centre Park came to life when Lafarge Lake was donated to the City by the Lafarge company in the mid-1980s. Town Centre Park has since evolved into a city-wide destination park for residents and visitors of all ages, from Coquitlam and beyond. The recent addition of the outdoor performance plaza, which opened in 2016, helps to ensure the park comes alive with both passive and active uses throughout the year.  From its beginnings as a former gravel pit, this area has reinvented itself to become a focal point for the community and a close walk from downtown.  The jury recognized the many strengths of the park, including its everyday use, community focus, continued evolution, accessibility for multi-generational activities, and the significant role it already plays as the spirit and pride for the City of Coquitlam.

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PEOPLE'S CHOICE

  • Winter - Main Street, Smithers

    With its many local shops and public spaces, Main Street represents the best of the little mountain community of the Town of Smithers; it’s where people come together as ‘Smithereens’ in all their vibrancy and diversity.

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  • Historic Schmidtville-Birmingham St

    City of Halifax, Nova Scotia

    Jury Statement

    Spring Garden Road/Schmidtville is a dynamic and vibrant neighbourhood in the heart of Halifax, which serves as a central place to live, work, and play for all Haligonians. It is located in the middle of the business district, major university campuses, and the waterfront where the cruise ships dock, and provides for a diverse mix of residential and commercial activities. Numerous residents, students, and tourists go to the shops, restaurants, and cafes on Spring Garden Road, which is the main commercial street in the neighbourhood. As one of Halifax’s first suburbs outside the fortified fences, Schmidtville is a largely intact area of architectural character with significant heritage value, reflected in its narrow streets and old world charm. The City of Halifax has recognized the value in preserving mixed use neighbourhoods in the downtown for decades, making investments in public infrastructure that enhance the design and architectural features. Similarly, many residents have also renovated their homes, further contributing to the appeal of the area.

    The jury was won over by the multiple strengths of the neighbourhood – its walkability, unique reflection of local history, cohesive mix of residential and commercial uses, and the significant role it already plays as a Great Place in Halifax.

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  • Civic Square Skating Rink

    Truro Civic Square

    Public Space

    The Truro Civic Square: A destination for many who wish to experience Truro’s state of the art Public Library, shop at the local Farmers’ Market, or go back in time at the Colchester Historeum. You can also take advantage of the beautiful lighting, integrated sound system and stage to take in or host a live musical performance, or lace up your skates in the winter and take a tour around the central skating oval. If you prefer, just find one of the many quiet spaces to relax with a good book. Overall, the Civic Square has something to offer the entire community.

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