Mark your calendars for Stratford's version September 30th to October 2nd. Again this year, the Stratford Market Square will be hosting three activities at our booth at the Sunday Slow Food Market, 10am to 2pm - Tour The Square, Colour The Square and Taste The Square. Visit our page at www.onculturedays.ca
Over the last five to six years, local author Marianne Brandis has been documenting some of Market Square’s rich history. We’d like to suggest that you re-visit some of the terrific historic information that she has gathered, preparing more than a dozen articles that were published in the Stratford Gazette. For example, in this June, 2012 piece http://tinyurl.com/jld2dx7 she wrote about the pedestrianizing of Broadway, in New York City. Marianne quotes Janette Sadik-Khan, New York's Commissioner of Transportation for 6 years and who was responsible for that and other developments, saying, “Whenever we create a public space … people just materialize out of thin air in minutes.” Marianne also writes about similar developments in Ottawa, Oshawa, and Cambridge, Ontario, along with the positive effect of slowed traffic on business. Spoiler Alert - the architectural firm chosen for Stratford's Market Square is NOT Plant Architect Inc. but GSP Design Group.
A Wonderful Summer in Stratford
Summer days have flown by and in a few short weeks, the City of Stratford will undertake a huge infrastructure upgrade as the first step towards a revitalized Market Square. And you, loyal supporter of this project, have played an important role in helping our committee support and keep the pressure on our civic leaders to do the right thing.
Market Square Design Shaping Up
The blog on our Market Square website and the occasional newsletter are our primary communication tools as we work to inform you of the planning and working stages that design firm GSP Group has undertaken. Some of our committee members have attended Council meetings in July and August if Market Square was an agenda item. The City of Stratford has prequalified four firms to bid on the Market Square construction tender. The tender will be issued to those firms next week and is expected to close in late September. The successful bidder will be presented to Council for their approval in October 2016. The list of prequalified firms can be viewed on the City’s website (RFPQ16-11) http://www.stratfordcanada.ca/en/insidecityhall/bidopportunities.asp?_mid_=2707
The Fall Agenda
Our Committee joins Stratford residents for some major announcements from Council and the City about Market Square as we step into September. Outstanding issues include:
-Reconfiguration of parking and public transit near Market Square
-The awarding of a construction contract.
-Announcements about the start date for construction.
An Interactive Market Square or A Place to Visit
While our Committee will focus intensely on development announcements and activities through September and October, we are also looking to the future when Market Square will be a lively, engaging public space for the use of Stratford residents and our visitors. With this in mind, we plan to consult both RTO4 (Ontario’s Regional Tourism Organization Four , one of 13 regional tourism offices in Ontario, part of a provincial initiative to grow the tourism economy across the province) and the Stratford Tourism Alliance (STA) about potential partnerships and programming options. A review of these web links tells us that there is plenty to talk about as both organizations are busy putting Stratford on the map http://rto4.ca/about-us/whats-new http://rto4.ca/stratford-destination-think
You may have noticed on social media sites an initiative 360 Stratford, virtual tours visible via Google and linked to relevant websites (e.g., City Hall, Perth Museum, the Stratford Festival). We are told that RT04 will produce a segment on Market Square after the construction is completed in the spring.
Businesses on the Square
The City Centre/BIA committee is planning to assist businesses around Market Square that will be affected during the infrastructure upgrade to advertise their "back door" or other access plans by means of clever ads and social media messaging.
We trust that you will continue to patronize your favourite Market Square shops, cafés and restaurants to support these wonderful merchants.
Have Your Say on Intercommunity Passenger Travel
Market Square will be a draw, but how do we get people here? The provincial government is consulting on a new regulatory regime to ensure safe and sustainable intercommunity passenger travel services. Make your views known at:
Getting Ready for Canada’s 150th Birthday
The City of Stratford and the Stratford Sesquicentennial Committee is seeking an artist and/or designer to design, develop and install a public art project as an integral part of the redevelopment of Market Square. The project that will be incorporated into the design of the redeveloped Market Square. The public art project design may incorporate digital media at the discretion of the artist.
The City has posted an RFP for artists to undertake the Sesquicentennial Public Art Project for Market Square. The RFP will close on 28 September. The RFP can be viewed on the City’s website (RFP16-13): http://www.stratfordcanada.ca/en/insidecityhall/bidopportunities.asp?_mid_=2707
This project will be designed and installed in full consultation with the City of Stratford and GSP Group. The artwork must be completed and installed in time for Canada Day celebrations on July 1, 2017.
To Educate, To Advocate, To Promote Transparency