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Downtown core revitalization continues with urban alleyways project

The alleyways in downtown Cambridge are undergoing a transformation that will create a more inviting space for guests

Once dim and dark alleyways in the downtown core will soon be lit bright and feature unique wall art.

The Downtown Cambridge BIA has undertaken the urban alleyways project with the aim of making the spaces more inviting to residents and guests.

“As a BIA, we have the opportunity to reimagine these spaces, conceptualize what is possible and have our hand in the transformative effects these areas can have on the downtown through pillars of our mandate; marketing and beautification,” Brian Kennedy, executive director of the Downtown Cambridge BIA said in a statement.

“Improvements in decorative lighting and meaningful activation of these under-utilized spaces to showcase an array of art will certainly draw more visitors downtown and will play a significant role in the improvement of the area.”

The BIA partnered with Alicia Sword, a local landscape designer, to assist with the concept for the space.

The alleyway spaces from Main St. to Water St. that leads to the Dickson St. municipal parking lot will feature three gallery rooms based around the original architecture of the existing buildings.

Along with the artwork, the BIA is working with 654 Signs and Little Electric to create illuminated archway signs for the alleyway spaces, a rotational gallery room which is designed to switch out artwork annually or bi-annually, as well as the permanent installation of festoon, wall wash, and gooseneck lighting throughout all three galleries.

To help fund the project, the BIA received a non-repayable contribution of $100,000 from Regional Tourism Organization 4 Inc. to transform the space into a cultural hot spot for tourism and celebrations. The money is part of a larger Government of Canada investment of over $78 million for various tourism offices and initiatives.

“We are immensely grateful to the Government of Canada and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario for the ability to support local businesses and organizations in Waterloo, Wellington, Huron and Perth Counties, like the Downtown Cambridge BIA,” Andrea Gardi, executive director of RTO4 added in the statement.

“Projects like this will make an impact on the road to recovery and re-imagination by allowing stakeholders to make strategic investments in product and destination development.”

The Downtown Cambridge BIA will be calling on residents for suggestions for naming of the spaces, as well as an open-call for the rotational gallery.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.