While the community of Ladysmith’s First Avenue was named Canada’s Greatest Street for 2017 by The Canadian Institute of Planners, Smithers won the online vote that allowed the public to determine what place they think should win.
“We actually got more votes than any of the other 17 entries,” said Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach. “The People’s Choice is by category but we got the most votes across all the categories, so quite a showing for a small town.”
Bachrach was part of a group that submitted a nomination package showcasing downtown.
“It is really exciting [to win] but most of all it shows how much people in this area care about our Main Street and are proud of it,” said Bachrach.
“The video we made was viewed over 4,000 times and the Facebook post was seen by over 60,000 people. It had tremendous reach and just by participating in the contest the word about our Main Street got out to an audience all across the country and I hope it inspires folks to visit Smithers and come check us out.”
The award also comes with a $300 prize.
“It isn’t a huge amount of money but it is a chance to do something fun to celebrate this award. We are thinking about doing something on Main Street obviously,” he said. “I’m looking for ideas so if anyone has thoughts on what would be appropriate, that would be most welcome.”
Other winners picked by a jury of certified planning professionals included Coquitlam, B.C. for their public space, and Spring Garden Road Schmidtville in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a great neighbourhood.
Other people’s choice awards were handed to Truro Civic Square in Nova Scotia and People’s Choice Public Space was given to Spring Garden Road/Schmidtville in Halifax, Nova Scotia.