Today’s Poll

Come one, come all to enjoy the Nelson Town Square

By Contributor
August 8th, 2023

Imagine a town square or park situated in the heart of downtown Nelson, a space that serves as a focal point and gathering place for residents and visitors.

What could you see yourself doing there?

Nelson has a well-deserved reputation for plentiful and scenic parks, trails and beaches where people can gather and enjoy our city — but we currently don’t have such a central town square.

Some Nelson residents have been turning their imaginations towards what such a central gathering place could look and feel like.

On Sunday August 20 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the 500 block of Baker Street (between Ward and Josephine Streets) will close to motor vehicle traffic and become a temporary town square for people to use and experience.

A town square is the traditional heart of a community, where people gather for culture, commerce, and social interaction. 

Town squares have been an integral part of human settlements for centuries and play a significant role in enhancing community life.     

The lack of a central square, and a strong desire for one, surfaced very strongly in recent community input around public space in Nelson. This seems to be an idea whose time has come, but perhaps it’s more accurate to say it’s an idea that has come again.

In 1995, an Integrated Transportation Strategy report recommended Council “to construct a ‘town square’ as close to the centre of downtown as possible”. 

In 2017, a Downtown Urban Design Strategy – of which some recommendations are currently being implemented—has an artist’s rendition on its front page of an innovative flexible town square configuration at the Ward and Baker Street intersection. 

The public are invited to come down to the pop-up town square to enjoy a variety of entertainment including music, games, arts activities and places to just relax and mingle.  Bring lawn chairs, games, a book to read – whatever you’d like to spend time doing in a town square.

Walking or biking to the event is recommended – you can even join a bike procession leaving Lakeside Park at 10:30 a.m. for Baker Street along the Third-High Street bikeway.

Join your community in making our Sunday Town Square an enjoyable and successful experience for everyone.

Photo Caption: This is a playful art rendering of what the 500 Block of Baker Street in Nelson could look like if a Town Square was created. — Submitted 

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