"I would love to see a public square with a park, benches and trees; a peaceful place to gather and read books, and a great place for sight see-ers as well."
- comment from attendee at
Canada Day celebration
Springer Market Square
Pittsburgh Market Square
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Waterloo Public Square
July 2, 2014
Stratford City Council Open House
Market Square will come full circle and once again become "The Heart of Stratford".
Residents and visitors will come together to celebrate their community, stroll from shop to shop, relax and participate in an ever evolving, ever changing array of wonderful events and exciting activities.
The potential is ours to realize.
Tai Chi, dancing in the street, book fairs, farmers markets, culinary displays, children's readings, press events, citizen rallies, artisan markets, outdoor cafes and ice skating in the winter.
Impromptu performances from jugglers and buskers, the laughter of toddlers and teenagers, the clatter of jugglers and strumming guitars.
A place to savour lunch under the boughs of a Sycamore with friends, hold hands, people watch and mingle with colleagues and neighbours.
Outdoor theatre celebrations, movies, concerts and festivals. Dancing in the street. The smell of coffee and roasting chestnuts under a rising moon. Late night murmurs from a romantic bistro.
All is ours to create.
Stratford artist, Marion Isherwood, envisions the future of Market Square
Presentation to Stratford City Council
By the Market Square Project Committee
In response to the City of Stratford
Management Report (April 2014) regarding Stratford’s Market Square
Stratford’s Market Square Committee welcomes the opportunity to once again provide input and comments about the City’s plans to revitalize our community’s historic Market Square.
To begin, the Market Square Committee would like to restate our preference for the original winning design conceived by PLANT Architect Incorporated in response to the City’s call for proposals from international design and architecture firms. In our view, that winning design has all of the elements required to deliver a revitalized Market Square that:
The Management Report prepared by City planning staff, which is before you today, outlines the extensive research and consultations that led to the development of the PLANT design. Other consultations that encouraged public and expert input followed the presentation of that design plan and generated more support for it. Our Committee is, therefore, of the view that the City does not need to conduct further public consultations or call for more design input. Issuing an RFP for a new design, or calling for further public input, is just a way to avoid action and will be a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The Committee appreciates that proceeding with this redevelopment requires the City to address a variety of infrastructure and transit issues, but this is not our focus or expertise. Our Committee is keen to see progress on a phased in plan to redevelop the Market Square so, in the end, residents of Stratford and their visitors can benefit fully from a well-designed, purpose-built space.
For those who think that the Market Square development is something our City cannot afford, we would also like to highlight that the City would need to incur costs associated with infrastructure upgrades in any case, so not all costs should be ascribed to the Market Square initiative alone. In fact, of a the total of $ 9 to $11 million total project cost cited by City staff in this report, only $5 million is directly related to the Market Square initiative. When you consider that WalMart has contributed $1.25 is already – not to infrastructure projects, but to the Market Square project – it becomes apparent that the cost of implementing the PLANT design is more in the range of $3.75 million. The staff report also references research conducted in 2007 by Urban Metrics (attached in separate email) that shows that
Using the Ministry of Tourism’s Economic Impact Model (TREIM) every $1,000,000 invested in Market Square should produce a total GDP of $585,000 and a labour income of $383,000.
In addition, based upon the TREIM model, for every 10,000 additional visitors attracted to Stratford, a total GDP of $1,926,000 and total labour income of $1,012,000 would be generated within Perth County.
Taxes to all three levels of government of $272,852 will be generated within Perth County.
Council and local businesses should feel very comfortable that this minimal expenditure will attract new business and tourism to the downtown care and the return on investment will be significant.
Our specific recommendations are:
This is a case where it's penny wise but pound foolish to not look at the longer-term benefits of properly renewing the Market Square. The Council that has the courage to do this will be regarded as the visionaries of our times, in the same league as R. Thomas Orr.
On a final note, our Committee would ask that the City make every effort to involve and engage its citizens as these plans go forward. A more open and transparent process would be appreciated and valued by all citizens of Stratford.
Eleanor Kane and Susan Wright
On behalf of the Market Square Committee
With the support of the Perth Community Futures and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario