Ladysmith’s historic First Avenue has won the prize for Canada’s Great Street in 2017 from a jury of professional planners. (File photo)

Ladysmith’s First Avenue wins Great Street in Canada honours

The award is handed out annually by the Canadian Institute of Planners

Ladysmith’s historic First Avenue has won the prize for Canada’s Great Street in 2017 from a jury of professional planners.

The award is handed out annually by the Canadian Institute of Planners and the organization reviewed 17 submissions from across Canada based on a set of criteria of planning best practices that considered social, economic, and accessibility and safety factors, and elements such as design, culture, history, and landscape.

Mayor Aaron Stone said the street has shaped Ladysmith’s identity as a “charming, diverse and vibrant west coast community.”

“We’re absolutely stoked and I think it’s a validation of decades of work that’s gone into First Avenue from the previous councils and more than anything from the volunteers and the businesses that have made their investments and put their blood, sweat and tears into First Avenue whether it’s there business or building,” Stone said.

While Smithers received the most votes from the public and was awarded People’s Choice: Great Street, a jury of certified planning professionals gave its Great Street distinction to Ladysmith.

The CIP’s jury statement described First Avenue as exhibiting “all the qualities one would expect from a great street: visually-interesting building facades, generous sidewalks, attractive landscaping and artistic details, places to rest, and places to gather.”

“This street, with its diverse mixture of local businesses, housing and services, has been a focal point of daily life for community members for more than a century. Streetscape enhancements, heritage preservation, the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and the many unique and publicly accessible festivals and events held throughout the year, are key ingredients to First Avenue’s success as a Great Street,” the statement noted.

Stone also credited organizers or things such as the Festival of Lights, Arts on the Avenue and Show and Shine.

“Those were all things that they looked at when they judged it. We provide the foundation but it’s the work of all those volunteers and business owners that are really are the icing on the cake,” Stone said. “The town works hard to keep downtown clean but it’s really just the foundation.”

Great Places in Canada contest winners were announced on World Town Planning Day, an internationally celebrated day that recognizes the accomplishments of professional planners and their contributions to communities.

CIP awarded Coquitlam with the Great Public Space award for its Town Centre Park.

Voting was open for three weeks in October and over 8,000 ballots were cast for people’s choice awards.

“The last time a B.C. community received the Canada’s Great Street honour was back in 2011,” said Ladysmith city manager Guillermo Ferrero.

“Winning this award for 2017 truly acknowledges our community’s commitment to defining and celebrating First Avenue as the heart of downtown Ladysmith and highlights the significance of this exceptional street and its importance to our community.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo United play in a pandemic, win Jackson Cup championship

Div. 1 men defeat Lakehill 2-1 to cap off soccer season after a six-month shutdown

Ride-hailing service nearly ready to start up in Nanaimo

Lucky to Go planning to launch Oct. 1

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley seeks reelection

Routley has served as MLA for the area since 2005.

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site at Duke Point

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

City reviewing plans for huge Sandstone project in south Nanaimo

Seacliff Properties says it’s been told to be ready for a public hearing this fall

Most Read