Minto’s three towns feelin’ fresh– Harriston, Clifford, and Palmerston revitalize the neighbourhood downtowns with beautification initiatives.
To commemorate the accomplishments of the three downtowns over the previous few years, the Town of Minto and the community revitalization groups Harriston Rising, All Aboard Palmerston, and Clifford Connects invited locals, volunteers, and business owners to a community celebration on Tuesday, Sept. 27, on their our Towns Rising project that was led by the Town of Minto’s Economic Development, Belinda Wick-Graham and Somer Antonopoulos.
The evening started off with an overview of the numerous activities and initiatives made possible by OMAFRA and Ontario’s Rural Economic Development (RED) Program received in 2020 to revitalize the three downtowns.
This project has resulted in a staggering amount of work including directional signage, new street furniture, pole wraps on Palmerston as well as Harriston downtown poles, community boards, gazebo, lights in Tannery Park, the Lions Heritage Park and Railway Museum, downtown Clifford, and Palmerston, five murals, new banners and speaker systems installed in all three downtowns, among other things ($367,515 worth of projects were done to downtown properties).
“The committee needs an amazing round of applause! The planters in the summer were amazing. The lighting is awesome, and Christmas is magical in Clifford. This little town has come alive! Great job to all those committed to the improvement. It shows and you should be proud”– Laurie Maxwell, Minto Resident
The project assisted with infrastructure improvement but with community engagement and stakeholder networking. The Town of Minto successfully organized and assisted with many events to promote communities, businesses, and residents.
The RED initiative contributed to the downtowns being livelier and more appealing to people, businesses, and investors. In 2020, Minto welcomed six new businesses and in 2021, 11 new businesses joined in the downtowns core despite the pandemic (17 total).
Leslie Fournier and Gregg McLachlan, the creators of Your Town Rising, acknowledged Minto’s great success and inspire next steps to keep the momentum going. Some fresh suggestions for the coming years were enhancements and creativity such as softening railings with wreaths and add greenery wherever possible. To promote tourism and local initiatives, Minto-wide events and destination ideas were shared that will connect the communities and draw in visitors.
For example, the potential of promoting Minto as the next cycling destination. The advantage and beauty are the three nice towns being close by that they can develop trails with special sites along the way. Minto could also become the next regional destination for local food attractions. Your Town Rising ended their presentation by suggesting Minto as a travel and holiday destination.
“Let’s get citizens working together to make Minto a must visit destination in the coming seasons & beyond!”–Leslie & Greg, Your Town Rising
Minto has accomplished remarkable outcomes with their downtown revitalization project. They will continue to build excitement with outdoor markets, music, and creative décor for photo opportunities, to attract visitors and share far and wide; as it also complements with their residence attraction program – Move to Minto Campaign. Which, the Economic Developers Association of Canada recently presented the Town of Minto with a coveted Marketing Canada Award (EDAC). The town’s branding effort, Move to Minto, contributed to their success in the Brand Identity category.
“You Belong Here” is the well-known municipal motto of Minto, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity, a welcoming atmosphere, and a sense of belonging felt within the community. To become a community where you, your family, and your business belong, Minto is moving forward. For more details visit: News – The Town of Minto
Written by: Anuraj Gill, Economic Development Specialist