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We are often called on to play tour guide to visitors ...
We are often called on to play tour guide to visitors
and investors, and part of the tour always includes main
street. A downtown is the heart of any community and
if the downtown is strong and growing, it is a good
indicator of the community’s economic health.
The reaction from these fi rst-time guests is the same
– what a wonderful downtown! They comment on the
streetscape, the facades, the variety of businesses, the
store displays and always the fl owers. Compared to
other downtowns, Owen Sound is looking healthy and
vibrant. Of course we have some empty stores and
want to see more businesses, but overall the downtown
is viewed by out-of-town visitors as a positive and
It’s going to get even better, with new investment in
downtown housing starting to ramp up. Corbet Place on
the west harbour is nearly completed. The Sydenham
condo project has purchased the Todd’s building from
the City. And a site plan has been approved for new
condos called the Professional Suites on the top fl oors of
the Professional Building.
All of these projects represent signifi cant new investment
in the downtown. Combined, they will bring close to 90
new housing units to downtown Owen Sound, resulting
in 150 to 180 more people living there. These will be
people who want to fully experience the downtown, to walk to the Roxy, the galleries and the library, to
the coffee shops, the book stores, the restaurants, the
harbour and the river views.
This new investment will support existing businesses
and attract new ones. It will make downtown
even more appealing to visitors and investors. It
is why the Economic Development and Tourism
Department (including the Small Business Enterprise
Centre) is assisting these developers in marketing
their properties, and Owen Sound as a whole. It’s
where we – and others – want to live and prosper.
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