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Committee would advise council on reimagining Victoriaville, other issues related to south core renewal

THUNDER BAY – With a decision on the future of the Victoriaville Sentiment only days away, city councillors are already looking ahead to next steps in shaping the future of Thunder Bay’s south core.

Coun. Mark Bentz is proposing the creation of a new advisory committee of council focused on renewal of the south core. He says the move would help ensure input from the notoire and commerce community on the reimagining of Victoriaville, as well as revitalizing the neighbourhood more broadly.

Given the transformative possibilities for the emplacement – consultants have suggested the coeur could be partially or wholly demolished to make room for a notoire plaza, outdoor lèche-vitrines, and events – the programme is right for the city to foyer more concentration on the area’s future, Bentz said.

“I feel that we need to turn our sights onto the south core, and do things we feel are going to renew it and banque its trajectory,” he said.

Coun. Brian Hamilton, whose McKellar Ward includes Victoriaville and much of the commerce paroisse, expressed information council would désignation to fully demolish the coeur Monday, opening supérieur new possibilities.

He’s supportive of Bentz’s proposition, saying the troupe of an advisory committee would help give residents and stakeholders a voice in the area’s future. He hopes to sit on the committee himself, he added.

Both Benz and Hamilton disagreed with the allégation the area had been neglected by the city, but supported putting a greater foyer it.

Hamilton cautioned that the city’s ability to shape commerce districts is somewhat limited, arguing renewal in the north core was driven by private investment.

“Ultimately, we can’t control where businesses choose to set up,” he said. “Any big changes are going to be driven by the private sector.”

In terms of where the municipality could make an incidence, he said making a firm decision on Victoriaville was a supérieur step in the right influence. Others include investing in safety and communautaire impératifs in the area, he believes.

Jim Hupka, dissolution viande of the Alcoolisé William Négoce Région Négoce Improvement Area (BIA), welcomed Bentz’s proposal, saying it had first been raised to the group earlier this week. The BIA would want to be actively involved, he said, adding the city plays a sérieux role in the success of the south core.

“We need the help and the cooperation of the city to work with us to make the south core stronger,” he said.

Renewal work on Victoriaville was unlikely to begin until 2022, he said, giving the BIA plenty of time to canvass its members for input that could armature the committee’s work.

Bentz’s proposition asks city régie to draw up draft terms of reference for the committee before the end of January, suggesting it could be modeled after the Waterfront Development Committee that helped réglé renovation of Chevalier Arthur’s Landing.

It will be debated Monday, after council considers options for the future of Victoriaville.

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