New strategy to activate Dundas Place and rebound from pandemic impacts
LONDON, ONT. -- The COVID-19 pandemic robbed Dundas Place of momentum after construction wrapped up in December 2019.
A new report to council, however, details how city staff will re-activate the four block flex-street this summer, including music, food trucks, and activities permitted by provincial pandemic rules.
“I am looking forward and hoping we will be surprising a lot of people this year,” says Ryan Craven the city’s Supervisor of Community Development.
Last year, there were about 40 events planned for Dundas Place before COVID-19 derailed much of its inaugural year.
This year, a different approach will reflect the ongoing uncertainty about pandemic restrictions.
“What we’re trying to move towards, is rather than a big weekend every once in a while, have a good level of activity every day if possible,” explains Craven.
Some activities will launch in June, with full-activation in July.
Operation of the pedestrian-flexible street between Wellington Street and Ridout Street has shifted from the Downtown BIA to city hall.
Gallery owner Jonathon Bancroft-Snell remains optimistic that Dundas Place will have a second chance to meet its potential.
“The enthusiasm among my fellow merchants is really really high, but there has to be positive attention on this space,” he says.
Snell adds that merchants with years of experience on Dundas Street know that attracting Londoners back to the core will require attention to detail.
“We have to make sure it’s clean, that people feel safe, that it’s well lit. We also have to make sure it (Dundas Place) is not just a 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. space.”