January 7, 2023
What are your thoughts about having more patios in our downtowns and creating an atmosphere that will attract more pedestrian traffic? File photo.
When the Victoria Day holiday comes around in late May, we have a dream. It’s the kind of dream that can be realized with just a little bit of leadership from a brand-new, forward-thinking council.
We want to see downtown Lindsay, with its newly widened sidewalks and bump-outs, used to its full capacity. We simply want patios, patios, patios. We want a “walkability” mindset once people are downtown, to use the jargon, and so does almost everyone else we talk with.
This is a case where Lindsay must catch up to Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls, villages that already attract the kind of tourist we need in the largest centre in Kawartha Lakes. It’s often been said that summer is when tourists rush up here and bypass Lindsay on their way to the cottage, which is likely located near Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, Coboconk or other points north. It’s time those folks stayed a little bit longer in Lindsay, too.
Port Perry, a community considerably smaller than Lindsay, understands this vision well. Its patio scene is lively and energetic. Newmarket and Orillia also get it, with well-designed patios and a cultivated energy for tourism — in other words, they’ve planned.
The city’s new blood on council has an amazing opportunity to show they get it, too. Councillors must figure out how to expedite permits quickly and easily to manifest this vision. There can be a certain degree of uniformity while also allowing for individualization.
For the private sector to consider, Lindsay ideally would have two more top-quality independent restaurants. (Port Perry has more than we do.) Ideally they would be focused on something we don’t already have. (Please, no more Italian restaurants, since we already have two fine ones in the downtown core.)
We would be interested in hearing from our readers on this topic. What are your thoughts about having more patios in our downtowns and creating an atmosphere that will attract more pedestrian traffic? Your comments may be used on the Advocate’s letters page.