Let's Go! McBride Main Street

How can McBride create a healthy and vibrant Main Street and downtown area?

The Village of McBride is looking for your ideas on how to create a healthy and economically vibrant Main Street and downtown area for businesses, residents and tourists. This work is happening from June to December 2021.

How can McBride create a healthy and vibrant Main Street and downtown area?

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How can McBride create a healthy and vibrant Main Street and downtown area?

All ideas are welcome! Ideas can include small changes (i.e. hanging baskets, new signage, etc.) or big changes (new sidewalks, street patios, safety measures, etc.), involve partnerships, new policies, less policies or a larger future vision.

Consider other places you've been and liked. What made these places special? Could those ideas be put to work here?

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assess whether the downtown has built or cultural heritage resources that are valuable and require preservation: If yes, let's create a beautiful, unique and character-filled downtown Main Street core - and provide incentives to land owners to revitalize their historic buildings

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Review the downtown land use regulations and find ways to provide greater flexibility for business and employment uses.

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Use public art, murals, and statues to bring attention to the unique history and culture of McBride and the Robson Valley.

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To attract development, the Village may wish to consider a development permit area for the downtown and authroize any development (which substantially complies with the development permit guidelines) to have a Revitalization tax exemption (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/local-governments/finance/requisition-taxation/tax-exemptions/permissive-tax-exemptions/permissive-revitalization-tax-exemption-procedures) The Village could also provide inforamtion to developers who build purpose built rental units regarding provincial tax exemptions (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/municipal-revitalization#:~:text=The%20municipal%20revitalization%20bylaw%20must%20have%2C%20as%20a,%3B%20A%20qualifying%20rental%20property%20must%3A%20be%20)

I think this special development permit area should be formed through a design charrette exersize with architects and residents to ensure that the vision for the downtown is shapped by the community.

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All of the lighting on Main Street could be replaced with more cost effective led lighting that points down to the street rather than upward. These light stands should also support banners that can highlight McBride and be changed to suit the seasons. The large corners on Main Street could support 'large' permanent built in planters that could also include bench seating. The current planters are too small to have any impact on the view of Main Street.

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test

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A dog park - or place incorporated into teh existing pasrks and trail systems to make McBride dog friendly which it is not.

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Street food/Mini-market pop ups.

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More diversity of shops and ENCOURAGE COMPETITIVE BUSINESS!! that way when 1 store closes we don't lose that whole "market" of products! Like when Crazy Cones doesn't open, there's still ice-cream at the Farm Store.

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Dog friendly! Encourage businesses (including Village office/Robson Centre) to have water dishes for dogs outside while open, free "doggie bags" (to pick up poop!), etc.

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Bike-friendly stops! A bike repair stand, oudoor patios with bike racks, shade-trees, campground in town for cyclists only.

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A washroom and water access at Steve Kolida park, as well as a splash park.

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Splash/Water Park

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Connection to and reflection of natural beauty, because we live in it and people are drawn to here for this reason.
Animal statues (ex. Jasper) people can take pics and children can explore them.
trress, plants and shrubs (ex valemount 5th ave) mcbride could have semi circle rock planters that contain perennial plants ( saving money VS hanging baskets types that bloom spring through fall) that were located at each cross road on the sidewalk intersections. seating/rest areas - cedar live edge tree trunks? Flowers around them.
water feature? Natural waterfall- seating with a rock mountain for children to climb new sign for Main Street entrance !! (Once again look at valemount sign) Wraparound store front themes, as many already are- timber frame accents etc debelop this into a unified theme- invites visitors to stay, take pics, explore

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Fix the bleachers and dugouts at the ball park. Not very safe right now. Raise funds have a work bee.

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Is there a bylaw to have homeowners keep their lawns mowed. You drive around town there are a lot of unmoved places.

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Hire more staff or students for the summer. Keep the parks and cemetery mowed. All around McBride use to be kept mowed. Looks aweful when you drive around town and grass just growing in ditches and boulevard everywhere.

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Water park for the kids.
block off the part of Main Street from pavilion to the stop sign by whistle stop make it all one big park area you don't have to worry about cars safer for kids. Detour the traffic around the park by hotel.

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Love the idea of trees up the middle of the street to separate the sides

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Storefronts could use local elements to highlight the area they are from. Use timber and rock to beautify and pay homage to the gorgeous mountain surroundings

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Something to separate/define the separation between sidewalk and street (planter boxes, lampposts...insert idea here) :)

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Lots of flowers, fresh paint and stand out street lights (like classy black lamp posts), distinctive street signs (clear, sharp writing), signs for local landmarks and services, signs with historical information, murals on sides of buildings

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Definitely street patios!

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I would love to see and have a water park somewhere in town. With this weather we have now, very ideal. And also a public washroom. Thanks.

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Redo sidewalks and add them to the Dominion Crecent

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Fix up and maintain walking trail along dominion creek and along Fraser river. Fix the bridges on that circle route. Better maintenance at girabaldi park and keep trail mowed. Allow access to the lagoon area and cells for walking, running and riding. Advertise said trails

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a water park which could be added to current park but at same time remove main street between parks and route it around by hotel and elks hall would be much safer for all then we would have one big park

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I am new here, but I was amazed to see how many buildings and businesses are closed or empty. I am not sure why this is, but if it is high rent or taxes, that needs to change. The pandemic has hit small businesses hard, perhaps you need a fund or to approach higher levels of government for a revitalization project. It is really important for a town to have a lively and active town that has basic shops for the people who live there and to also have interesting shops that attract tourists. I think McBride is beautiful and has a lot of potential and its roots as a railway pioneer town should be highlighted everywhere, perhaps with history boards or signage that is from the period or with artifacts throughout. Another idea, is to highlight the outdoor spirit of the region and have shops that cater to that - like a pioneer goods store, hunting shop, a western decor shop, an art gallery. Niagra on the Lake is an incredible example of how a town turned its fate around. They started the Shaw festival, and the main street is full of interesting small shops - traditional bakery, jam and preserve shop, fudge shop, local crafts, local art, artisan food, a huge indoor country market, many restaurants, etc. Another good example is asheville tennessee which brought its music culture to the forefront but creating spaces outside for musicians to play. I would look at case studies of towns that went from bust to boom by focusing on their unique history and place in it and created an atmosphere of days long gone that attract visitors and also create a community feel and pride in residents. What is the unique history of here? How do you create an atmosphere that honours it? How do you make the town an interesting stop for tourists? How do you get people out and about in the community?

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Painted sidewalks like the flower one near Fort Street in Victoria BC are very visually appealing. The crosswalk between the park and ball diamond would be a good place to do it.

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A large outdoor chess or checkers board could be fun.

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Updated park. Maybe sand, gravel, or recylcled tires instead of the chips that end up stabbing the kids hands? (I've even had one go through my flipflop a few years ago)

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Splash park!

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Tear up all the old sidewalk and put brick down on Main Street. Nothing will make McBride look better I guarantee it

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Allow mixed use zoning on mainstreet so that our buildings can have multiple uses(for example an empty shop could become office space, an empty building could become an appartment). And get rid of R1 zoning (single family zoning) for the entire village. If we want McBride to grow we need to use our space within the existing village efficiently. More units on less space means more revenue for the village.

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Fix up the trainstation building so that the upstairs can be used, and fix the leaky roof. Having a space upstairs would be great for kids activities and art events.

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Consistent light fixtures: The classic street lamps along Main Street are beautiful, but drive at night and you'll realize that there are different types of light (soft yellow and a bright white) as well as two different styles of actual posts

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Train station revitalization: the train station lies in the centre of Main Street's sight line but chipped paint, damaged boardwalk, and aging infrastructure makes the building less attractive than it should be

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Increased sidewalk greenery: Additional trees, plants, etc. between Main Street and where people walk on the sidewalk could provide an improvement to the visual of downtown while also increasing user safety by providing a shade and a slight shield between pedestrians and car traffic

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My idea is to have downtown festivals and sidewalk sales with games etc to promote the businesses downtown. These type of events allow services such as bank, insurance to also have a booth outside. Brings awareness to the community of services/retail offered in the downtown.

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A salon and barber shop on mainstreet with clear signage.

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No empty store fronts. Perhaps have children create art to fill up the empty windows (as a temporary measure)

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A car/dog wash

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A public water fountain for locals and tourists.

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A self cleaning public washroom situated on or near main street is badly needed for both tourists and locals..

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Hello! I currently own and operate a business on Main Street (recently purchased the adjoining lot for outdoor seating/future projects). Over the course of the last year and a bit (since COVID) there has been increased tourist traffic, not international but British Columbians and Canadians who have been touring their own province and country because of lack of travel elsewhere. There have been many people coming into the shop that tell me that they've driven past McBride for YEARS and never turned in to see what we had. I asked them what made them turn into town this time and a majority of them said because they had the time. I also asked them why they hadn't before and 98% of them said because they didn't know what we had to offer. We desperately need signage on the highway coming into town in both directions, also at the highway turn-offs at both entrances. The signs posted are confusing, lacklustre and dated. There is nothing on the highway to draw people in. We have a lot of great things here, and nobody knows they exist. We need to toot our own horn and let people know.

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-MCBRIDE SHOULD BECOME ANOTHER JASPER -ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DONATE A PORTION OF LAND FACING MAIN STREET FOR PARK SPACE WITH A GAZEBO FOR PEOPLE TO HANG OUT -TURN OLD IGA INTO A COMMUNITY SPACE WITH FARMERS MARKET, LIQUOR STORE, ETC. OWNED BY THE VILLAGE -NICKNAME THE TOWN USING THE GRIZZLY THEME

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Main street needs things to do after 5 or 6 pm, which is when most of the businesses close. After that you may be able to go to a restaurant - some nights of the week - if you know which ones are open, but otherwise the town pretty much dies. I realize that this is partly due to COVID, and that there used to be more evening activities. It would be great if businesses were willing to be open later, even one or two nights a week. It would also be great if (once it is possible again) there were activities and events like live music. It's not the appearance of a street that makes me want to spend time there. Or rather, it is nice if a street is tidy and well-maintained, but our Main Street already looks respectable. More than paint or flowers, downtown needs things to do and places for people to do them in. The gazebo on one of the vacant lots has gone, now that the lot has been purchased. It would be lovely to have a comfortable and shaded place for people to gather.

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If we want a "health and economically vibrant Main Street" we should find a way, collectively, to buy the defunct grocery store and give it to the AG Foods folks. Grocery stores are a vital service for any community, _and they determine the maximum size and diversity that community can achieve_.

The current store is difficult for normal folks to use, challenging for fit disabled folks, and physically impossible for unfit disabled folks (like myself) to use. The selection is limited in large part because *space* is limited. so already we have some very real constraints on the diversity of individuals (disabled individuals, individuals with special diets, etc.) that our community can readily support.

We're also running into capacity issues with the current grocery store. Staple foods periodically run out, even if you only consider a very WASP-Candian diet to be relevant. The limited diversity and capacity of our current grocery store (honestly, it's really a bodega, not a grocery store) places a hard limit on the growth our village can support, and that brings its own problems. First, McBride desperately needs to expand its tax base, and it can't do that unless it can grow.

Now, high-income individuals can bypass some of this by making a trip out to Prince George to resupply, but that can cost up to $150 in gas alone, even for reasonably fuel efficient vehicles. Alternately, we can order large quantities of stuff through the post, but eventually the posties are going to get supremely irked at the volume of parcel traffic through there. They're putting up with a LOT because of the pandemic, but they will only tolerate this for so long.

So that brings us back to: growing this village requires moving AG Foods into the larger grocer store location, which they can't do on their own. We, as a community, might very well be able to solve this for them. Heck, we might even be able to get a community development grant from other teirs of government, because ensuring everyone has access to groceries is generally an emotionally powerful political talking point...and a very real problem, even in the big cities.

Everything else we can do for our downtown is all just lipstick. We could make things a bit prettier, or make sure we have enough hotel rooms (preferably with functional A/C...), but all that does is boost some profits for the local businesses during tourism season. It isn't going to revitalize the community, and it keeps our businesses trapped into a boom-and-bust tourism economy.

Growing the village itself - adding more residents, preferably with work-from-home internet jobs - brings more money into the community. It creates more people who buy from those businesses regularly. It uplifts everyone.

But we cannot grow this village unless we can address the bottlenecks that prevent growth. I know that the Village council is aware of the housing issue, so I won't rant about that...but as a village we need to take a seriously hard look at what all the non-housing bottlenecks on our growth as a community are.

The grocery store is one.
The utterly inadequate settling tanks leading to constant boil-water advisories are another.
How does our sewage processing look? How many more residents can we handle, especially during peak tourist season?
Do we have any skilled positions in our village that must be filled before we can grow much larger? If so, should we be actively working to build community incentives to attract individuals to those roles?
What about early childhood care? We have underemployed individuals in this village, some even with significant childcare experience. What would it take to turn one of the vacant office buildings downtown into a village-sponsored daycare? Do we need to get some of these undereducated-but-good-with-kids folks training/certification in order to turn that into a career? How much does that cost? Can we legally fund that training as a village? If not, can we gather donations for such through one of the curches?

I know the grocery store is a bottleneck to our growth. But there are probably others. Finding and fixing these problems is far more important than flower pots or freshly painted signs.

And if the problems seem daunting to challenge at a village level, that is all the more reason they MUST be tackled by the village: because if something is challenging enough that we fear addressing it at the level of our municipal government, it's almost certainly beyond the capacity of individuals to solve. For some things, we just need more capital than any one of us is capable of bringing to bear.

Thank you for your time.

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