Downtown Top Priority for Council this year


By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Jan. 27, 2013

The council’s top priority in 2013 will be downtown Squamish.

“Squamish downtown will be transformed into a waterfront-oriented, vibrant centre for commerce, culture, and creativity,” said Mayor Rob Kirkham.

Council has identified some quick wins to kick-start the work in 2013.

•         Finalize Downtown Neighbourhood Plan

•         Public Art Policy and installation of public art

•         Cleveland Avenue upgrade – Victoria to Main Streets

•         Downtown Entrance Upgrades

•         Downtown Cycle Routes

•         Downtown Revitalization Program providing tax and other development incentives

•         Mamquam Blind Channel/Marine Strategy

A 20-year strategic action plan is also being developed to take the downtown initiative from concept to reality.

This would include meaningful connections to the waterfront along the Mamquam Blind Channel, such as waterfront parkland and walkways.

There will be public amenities and spaces in the downtown, such as a new town square.

The district also plans to create an efficient traffic and parking plan that supports transit, pedestrians and bike lanes.

A streetscape plan that beautifies and livens up the streets, including public art, signage and way finding, is also on its way.

The district has also committed to work on trail connections between Downtown, the Squamish Estuary, Squamish Oceanfront Development Corporation (SODC) lands, the Mamquam Blind Channel, Smoke Bluffs Park, and neighbourhood residential areas.

“There is a great amount of work to be done,” said Mayor Kirkham.

A broad community engagement process will begin this spring to help direct and shape the work, with the plan expected to be in full swing by the end of May 2013.


  1. Jason Bechard says:

    Great, no plans to fix infrastructure, no plans to upgrade services in other sections of Squamish…Ever have a feeling that maybe the council is biased??? Couldn’t be because some of them have businesses in that area could it? Odd how all this work is being downtown only…things that make you go HMMMMM

  2. Dave says:

    Downtown, Downtown!……How about Uptown , Uptown, too! ….As in UP the valley? All areas are growing, need fixing and upgrading on an on-going basis…and we ALL pay taxes.
    Good on ya Jason, well said.

  3. Linda Bachman says:

    The Downtown enhancement proposal has to expand it’s perimeters to outside of just Cleveland Ave if we want a solid representation of all surrounding businesses and amenities. Each surrounding area business contributes to the overall attractions for any established destination. There are many more contributing businesses Downtown that need the same assistance and to be included for the same enhancements. Cleveland Ave alone will not support the Downtown as an attraction. Let’s at least give the impression we are bigger than one street and open for business around the blocks by allowing directional signage at corner posts. Actually, when we do get our Welcome to Squamish sign does it include all participating in the struggle to sustain our community businesses or just Cleveland Ave?

    • Eric Andersen says:

      Good point, Linda, regarding this arbitrary one-side-of-PembertonAve-versus-the-other. I recommend this concern and suggestion be directed in a letter to “Mayor and Council”. The Downtown Incentives proposal is not yet a done deal as presented, and I’m sure your observation would be considered. During discussion of the package by the Economic Development Standing Committee last Fall, the question of southern and eastern boundaries came up (Include SODC and Waterfront Landing or no?), but north side of Pemberton Avenue wasn’t addressed — or other similar situations around the immediate zone targeted. Good luck!