Splash of colour planned for culturally diverse Wyandotte Town Centre
Banners set to span the street, highlighting the district
A stretch of Wyandotte Street East is set to get a colourful makeover next spring, aimed at representing the area's cultural diversity.
"People use the word multicultural," said Tamara Kowalska, chair of the Wyandotte Town Centre BIA. "You can come here and hear lots of different languages and have meals from different parts of the world."
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The city approved a million-dollar streetscaping project in January for the area of McDougall to Gladstone avenues. It includes colourful fabrics that will be woven above the street level.
The idea is to distinguish the busy marketplace area, capitalizing on the already strong sense of community there.
"We really want to make sure we're providing public spaces where people feel comfortable to get together and actually I think this is one of the neighbourhoods where this is already happening," said Kowalska.
The concept stemmed from a design competition by the BIA.
"We came up with what we call the 'community thread' which sort of stitches together the elements of the community together,' explained Dan Amicone, owner of Architecttura Inc.
He added the colourful street banners are part of phase one of the project. The next two phases will add street furniture to the area and upgrades to bus stops and other communal locations.
"It'll be a huge difference," he said, adding the banners are very unique and not typically seen in a city of this size.
Amicone said he hopes to open the contract for bidding in the spring, and award a tender by April or May. Both he and Kowalska would like to see the banners above the street by fall of 2018.
"We don't want to impact the business, there's lots to it," said Amicone, adding that the company will work with local shop owners to make sure they lessen the disruption on the street.
"It's actually the perfect place to open a business," said Kowalska, who touts the walkability of the area and access to public transit.
"It already does feel like a marketplace — we're just going to accentuate that."