CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) has a few different projects on the go aimed at improving Cornwall’s downtown.
Seaway News spoke with DBIA Chair Josh Casselman, owner of the Kings and Little Ones barber shop in the downtown about what his organization has been up to.
With the funding the DBIA receives from its members, it has been working on projects to improve the branding of the downtown, as well as the aesthetics.
One major project of focus for the DBIA currently is the replacement of lights in the downtown with energy efficient LED bulbs. Casselman explained that prior to the start of the replacement project, much of the lighting in the downtown dated back to the 1970s and that the LEDs will also help improve the ambient lighting in the area.
A second project is the replacement of lamp post banners. The DBIA will be contracting a local artist to create new stylish banners for the downtown’s lamp posts.
“It helps people realize they are in the downtown and it helps the city recognize the downtown is a distinct place to go,” Casselman said.
Casselman said that the DBIA would also be forming a working group to create new events and promotions for downtown Cornwall.
“We would like to see members of the downtown come forward with their ideas,” said Casselman.
One downtown feature that recently ended was the weekend closure of Pitt St.
Cornwall City Council approved the weekend closure of Pitt St. to help give businesses more space to host their clients and to give pedestrians more space to walk while they shop.
The closures were scheduled to continue until September, but ended early, Casselman explained, due to Ontario entering Step Three of their COVID-19 re-opening plan early, which allowed for indoor dining and fewer restrictions on gatherings.
Going forward, the DBIA is in the process of holding their fourth annual Win this Space Contest, where a local entrepreneur can win $1,000 a month for rent for a downtown storefront for a year.