According to the plan commissioned by the BIA and the City of Collingwood, proposed changes include turning all parking lots into pollinator-friendly gardens and major upgrades to existing flower beds downtown.
Downtown Collingwood could get a little greener over the next few years.
During Monday’s Business and Community Services Standing Committee meeting, councilors will get a first look at the Collingwood Town Center Garden Master Plan, which outlines how the Collingwood Town Center Business Improvement Area Collingwood (BIA) and the city could implement better gardens and greenery in the city center over the next five years.
In a report prepared by Seferian Design Group and commissioned in June 2020 by the BIA with support from the City of Collingwood, the plan was originally delivered in August 2021.
It is noted in the report that the city center gardens were the result of three major infrastructure projects, but no comprehensive and coherent plan had been drawn up before. The report describes the current state of existing garden spaces in the town center and proposes how they can be improved in the future while taking into account existing planning documents such as the community strategic plan, the conservation district plan of the downtown heritage and cycling master plan.
“The overall objective of the Downtown Gardens Master Plan is to improve the livability, functionality, economic vitality, aesthetic quality and walkable environment of the city,” the report notes.
Currently, Collingwood street trees are a variety of species consisting of maple, elm, crabapple, honey locust, ornamental pear and others.
“Most trees are healthy and do well in urban settings. Several trees are in decline and should be removed and replaced,” the report notes.
The report also notes that many of the downtown gardens are primarily a mix of annuals and perennials in raised concrete planters and, while annual planting appears to be thriving, most of the existing perennial plantings are showing signs of degradation. stress.
Several factors that can contribute to plant decline are salt contamination, weight of stored snow, seasonal exposure, lack of water, and maturity.
According to the plan, the consultants suggest dividing the city center into five zones, with best practices identified for each of the zones.
- Zone 1 will include Hurontario and First/Huron streets. The area has the highest concentration of city-owned retail and commercial frontages and garden infrastructure.
- Zone 2 will include Pine Street, Ste. Marie, Hume Street, Fourth Street, Third/Ontario Street, Second/Simcoe Street and Side Launch Way, and offers a mix of uses.
- Zone 3 includes Elgin Street, Ontario Street (east of Ste. Marie Street), St. Paul Street, and North Pine Street and is primarily made up of residential homes.
- Car park facades
- Waterfront promenade
In Zone 1, recommended improvements include repairing raised concrete planters and using metal planters inside existing flower beds, replacing perennial plant species that tolerate road salts and seasonal maintenance conditions, reduction in size of planting areas to facilitate maintenance requests and replacement of mulched tree pits. with a sustainable option.
Bike racks, benches and trash cans should also be replaced, according to the report.
In Zone 2, recommended improvements include adding more herbaceous perennials and trees to the planting program, strengthening parking lot frontages, removing unviable flowerbeds while maintaining street trees and repairing damaged and dangerous areas in walkways.
A bicycle shelter is available next to the bus terminus on Rue des Pins.
In Zone 3, the consultant recommends including additional street furniture in front of Tremont Studios.
Gateway functionality is suggested in areas 1 and 2.
With regard to car park frontages, the report suggests converting all gardens in these areas into pollinator gardens, allowing for large planting areas and landscape linkages.
In seafront promenade areas, the report suggests adding movable raised planters between groupings of benches and adding different, more accessible seating where possible. A suggestion is included to convert the northernmost part of Hurontario Street into a path and small park leading to the waterfront and harbour.
The report also offers suggestions on ways to increase the appeal of downtown laneways and where future public art might be best placed.
As of 2020, downtown Collingwood is home to 23 arts and entertainment storefronts, 93 health and wellness centers, 31 restaurants, bars and cafes, and 123 other shops.
To read the full plan, click here.
The corporate and community services meeting will take place on June 6 at 2 p.m. in the council chambers. The meeting will also be streamed live and archived on the city’s town meeting YouTube channel. here.