The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) is pleased to announce the winners of its 2016 Great Places in Canada contest. After a rigorous review process by a jury of certified planning professionals, the Institute bestows the title of 2016 Great Street on Water Street (in St. Andrews, New Brunswick), 2016 Great Neighbourhood on Woodfield (in London, Ontario), and 2016 Great Public Space on St. Patrick’s Island (in Calgary, Alberta).
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 30,000 votes cast, the public determined the 2016 People’s Choice winners, with Rothesay Common (in Rothesay, New Brunswick) voted as 2016 People’s Choice Public Space, Downtown Antigonish (in Antigonish, Nova Scotia) voted as 2016 People’s Choice Neighbourhood, and Historic Main Street (in Newmarket, Ontario) voted as 2016 People’s Choice Street.
Finally, the jurors would like to acknowledge our shortlisted candidates from each category. These Great Places were the final three candidates before the winners were chosen. From the Great Street category, Lonsdale Avenue, Bridge Street, and Historic Water Street. The Great Neighbourhood shortlist included East Village, Downtown Antigonish, and Woodfield. Furthermore, the Great Public Space shortlisted places were Terra Nova Rural Park, Springer Market Square, and St. Patrick’s Island.
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!
St. Andrews, New Brunswick
Historic Water Street is a part of the community of St. Andrews’ heart and identity. The pedestrian-oriented street integrates contextual urban design with open spaces and scenic views of the nearby sea. While the street’s design and architecture references the community’s over 200 years of history, the place itself has evolved to remain a daily part of resident’s lives for both commercial and recreational purposes. The street is also an attraction for the community’s over 80,000 visitors each year. It houses well-frequented restaurants, shops, galleries, and other excursion opportunities. The street is also the backdrop for a weekly Farmers Market and hosts community events in all four seasons.
2016 Great Places in Canada Winner – Great Public Space
St. Patrick’s Island is one of Calgary’s oldest parks. Recently revitalized, it is a giant backyard playground for residents of all ages from Calgary’s East Village and surrounding communities. This public space integrates enhanced natural spaces with public art, and urban amenities. The recent redesign focused on connecting people with nature. The island is home to events and festivals including campfire chats and outdoor theatre and movies. A new bridge spans the Bow River and provides an elegant access to the island.
2016 Great Places in Canada Winner – Neighbourhood
2012 People’s Choice – Neighbourhood
Woodfield is a vibrant historic Victorian neighbourhood located in the heart of London. The picturesque neighbourhood showcases many homes and rustic Ontario cottages, many built in the 1840s. Woodfield features walkable and well-frequented commercial and public spaces, including Victoria Park, and is the location of many community events including a street fair, plant exchange and Harvestfest. The balance of historic preservation and community vibrancy made this a unique entry.
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
2016 People’s Choice – Neighbourhood
This vibrant community is alive with creative and historic culture, engaged citizens, an entrepreneurial and cooperative spirit and a strong sense of pride! A walk through Downtown Antigonish presents colorful buildings, heritage buildings, boxes and hanging baskets of flowers everywhere, giant murals on the sides of many of the buildings and trees all along the street. It is a beautiful setting, and you can tell that the community is proud of our Main Street. It is evident by the number of people that can be found enjoying one of the many patios, shopping at our unique retailers, gathering to socialize at a street corner, or taking a stroll through the Downtown. The community really becomes a-buzz during the many events and festivals that take place throughout the year, and that includes the annual September return of university students to the community.
Historic Main Street has always been the heart of Newmarket. This street’s historic significance, well-preserved built heritage, and vibrant street life make this street the cultural hub of the Town as well as a popular destination for visitors.
Historic Main Street Newmarket is a treasure among Ontario’s main streets. It is cherished by residents and visitors alike, and its vibrancy and constant adaptation make it a truly Great Street.
Rothesay, New Brunswick
2016 People’s Choice – Public Space
The Rothesay Common or “the Common” is a 4.5-acre parcel of land that has been used as a public space since 1935. During the summer months the area is busy with people engaged in a variety of activities. The beauty of the Common is that it allows people to engage in both active and passive recreation in the same area. It is not unusual to see children enjoying the playground, playing basketball or football, or flying a kite at the same time someone is sitting on a bench reading a book.