Village Core Revitalization
Task Force Members:
Chair, Grace Thrasher
Leeanne Van der Burgt
Thank you to all the individuals who provided feedback to the Task Force on Revitalization of the Village Core on its proposed draft plan. The comments on the priorities have been positive and we will be finalizing the plan with greater detail about action plans in the coming weeks.
The main priorities include sprucing up the facades on Main Street buildings, developing an information package to help new businesses interested in setting up in Manotick, improving parking and pedestrian access and improving communications about community events.
Thanks to all of you who attended the Open House to hear about the proposed recommendations of the Task Force on Revitalization of the Village Core. We have completed a draft plan and are looking for local residents to provide us with their thoughts and comments. (
Over the past two years, the Task Force members have heard from many parties in the Village and elsewhere about the concerns and suggestions on keeping the Village Core a vital part of our village.
We began with an analysis of current reports and research to identify what has been done and what has already been recommended in the way of improvements.
We have held focus groups, conducted surveys with visitors and residents at Dickinson Days, Taste of Manotick and Picnic in the Park, invited local businesses to complete a detailed survey about their business, their challenges and ideas for improvements and we have heard from experts and City staff in the area of business investment, heritage designation, rural planning guidelines and the Community Improvement Plan program.
In addition, we have received support from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The Ministry runs the Main Street Revitalization program and we were able to benefit from the expertise of Bruce Moore and their detailed guide on how to develop a plan for revitalizing a Main Street.
We were also successful, through the work of Donna Smith, the Executive Director of the BIA, Franca Gatto of Eden Designs and Grace Thrasher, Chair of the Task Force, in getting a grant of $40,000 to upgrade the gateway at Bridge and Main, improve way finding signage so that visitors would know about businesses located along the side streets, and replace aging benches, planters and garbage cans. Those changes will be implemented shortly.
We also conducted an inventory of Main Street buildings and have developed some improvements that could be done for little cost and yet have a positive impact on look of Main Street.
Read responses to:
"Any other comments?"
How It All Began
The Village of Manotick is at a critical juncture in its development as shops are closing or moving elsewhere, new development is under consideration that could affect the Village “feel”, and the Village population is changing to a younger demographic. In the past year, new developments have come forward for 5514 Main Street (the former Falls House) and for land at the corner of Kelly Marie Drive and Main Street that have generated strong community reaction. In addition, the Village has lost three specialty shops and one restaurant through closure or relocation and also faces the possible loss of three more businesses as a result of the recent fire on Main Street.
While improvements are taking place in the Village, such as Mahogany Harbour Dock, a cross walk on Main Street and a series of community events that attract visitors, there remains much to be done to maintain Manotick’s status as a vibrant, rural village and a destination spot.
The MVCA decided to send out a brief survey to gauge public opinion regarding the Village Core. This survey was sent to MVCA members, members of the BIA and was promoted on social media to the general public.
MVCA survey 2017 - results
The online survey generated 138 responses to questions about the Village core, with almost all agreeing for the need of a vibrant village core, and over 92% of respondents agreeing for the need of a Task Force on Revitalization. Only 56% of respondents are in favour of traffic calming measures on Main St. Respondents were asked to identify which of the following was important in revitalizing the village core? More shops/ Better pedestrian access/ Increased services/ More Village activities/ More people living in the core/ Other. The most popular choice was More shops, followed by Better pedestrian access.
Recurring remarks in the comment section focus on the need for better parking, better sidewalks, continued concern about the number of heavy trucks through the village, as well as concerns about the number of empty stores, need for public washrooms and rent costs for storefronts. The most common themes are the importance of the Main St and what can be done to improve its appearance/attractiveness and also a need to attract more artisan/specialty stores to the village. There were suggestions about finding out what new residents are looking for, promoting existing businesses to new residents and promoting “Shop Local”.