In November 2021, the District of Vanderhoof completed an upgrade project to Burrard Avenue, a main road in the community bringing people from Highway 16 to downtown. To lighten the financial burden, they received a $155,400 Main Street Revitalization – Capital grant from Northern Development, the first approval through the funding program.
The grant enabled the District of Vanderhoof to brighten their main street by removing 56 outdated and dim light fixtures and replace them with new fixtures and LED lights. Improved lighting helps connect Vanderhoof’s downtown core with new amenities at Riverside Park, encouraging people to travel between the two places and increasing safety.
“Receiving this grant helped spark our efforts to improve lighting along Burrard Avenue,” said Mayor Kevin Moutray, District of Vanderhoof. “The new fixtures and lights create a welcoming and safe ambience for all those travelling in the downtown area, regardless of if they are travelling by foot, bicycle or vehicle. The upgrades also signal to our business community that we are willing to do our part to keep property values stable through aesthetics and continual improvements and thus encourage them to also invest in their business and our community.”
Modernizing the lighting goes a long way in increasing the visual appeal of downtown Vanderhoof. Having an attractive and vibrant area attracts and retains businesses, helping the District maintain a zero vacancy rate in downtown commercial buildings.
The new lights align with the District of Vanderhoof’s efforts to encourage active transportation and outdoor sport activities by upgrading access and connecting all their recreation facilities. Well-lit streets and sidewalks make it safer for pedestrians, runners and cyclists to travel between home, work, shopping and activities.
Introduced in September 2020, the Main Street Revitalization – Capital funding program has approved funding for seven projects, totaling more than $1.2 million in grants for communities to improve their main street areas. These investments benefit local businesses and residents while positively contributing to the local visitor experience. The maximum grant amount available is $200,000 per project, with a lifetime maximum of $500,000 per community.
To support intentional downtown revitalization planning, local governments can also apply to the Main Street Revitalization – Planning funding program. Up to $20,000 is available to help municipalities or regional districts develop a community-wide vision for their downtown and an action plan that identifies ways to achieve the vision.