Marketplace makeover

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Fergus Marketplace on the River’s owners and tenants I would like to thank Centre Wellington staff and council for their thoughtful input and for accepting our Community Improvement Plan (CIP) proposal.

What began as a competition in 2016 to come up with ways to improve our building’s façade, morphed into a “beautification committee” of unit owners and one passionate volunteer with an incredible background in design who has been the main driver of the project.  I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Lorraine Tierney for sticking with this project through its ups and downs.  There were many challenges along the way and she kept us going.

I’d also like to thank Joanne Gazzola (formerly of the Goofie Newfie) and Dianne Kennedy (owner of the Trenset Unit) for working hard on this project with me. I also want to thank property manager Eric VanGrootheast for working with us on what can and can’t be done, both financially and physically.

After many years of meetings, setbacks, new information, budget constraints, and working within the urban design and heritage guidelines, we finally came up with the proposal that went to council on July 22.  The main focus is the wall along the side of the building facing the Grand River and the northwest corner of the building.

There is so much more we want to do in the future, from improving elements on the Queen Street side to bridging the gap in the boardwalk to complete the Riverwalk circuit.  Some of our “grand” plans are not affordable for our condo board alone, so we patiently await future partnership opportunities to make these things happen. The façade improvement program through the CIP provided an excellent opportunity to get a few projects done.

As is always the case with change, beauty will be in the eyes of the beholder. Trust me when I say we considered many options.  We are proud of what we eventually chose as a design we think is attractive and is the most affordable to complete and maintain. As the area of downtown Fergus along the river continues to improve, we want to keep up!

Stay tuned as we work towards completing this exciting project.  The Fergus Marketplace on the River is a “grand” old building and we are excited to keep it beautiful and full of life.

Jackie Fraser,
Chair, Fergus Marketplace on the River Condo Board