Revitalization committee seeks gathering spots

KENILWORTH – Arthur’s downtown revitalization advisory committee has suggested that alleyways could be more than just empty spaces in the downtown core.

Instead, minutes from Arthur’s downtown revitalization advisory committee, presented to council on June 24, suggest that Arthur’s alleys could be enhanced with painting, bunting, a metal archway, lighting and decorating to create spaces that provide community fun.

Other suggestions included animating alleyways with paint, tables and plants or coming up with an event such as “Alleys of Arthur” or “Arthur’s Alleyways.”

Councillor Lisa Hern said the walkabout revealed Arthur has more alleys than most communities.

“When one steps into an alley, it is very quiet,” she said.

She suggested the alleys might be ideal for outdoor patios, if the details can be worked out.

Other ideas presented at the meeting included transforming empty spaces with pop ups or creating a photo shoot area for various seasons to get people downtown, for example: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Canada Day.

The Mount Forest downtown revitalization committee came up with a similar idea to create a programmed plaza.

The committee is committed to establishing a downtown gathering place for the community to enjoy and connect.

One initial plan is to provide live entertainment on Friday nights.

Members currently believe the best site would be beside the Mount Forest Public Library.

This alleyway is owned by the municipality and the parking spaces and lot are owned by Wellington County.

Mayor Andy Lennox said budget support is equal for Arthur and Mount Forest.