Campbell River Downtown Revitalization

City of Campbell River

Sources of Funding
ICET:$250,000
BC Spirit Square Program:$500,000
BC Transit/Federal Gas Tax Fund:$388,850
City of Campbell River:$750,000
Total Budget: $1,888,850
Quick Facts: 

The Spirit Square, located in Campbell River’s town centre, is a community focal point and provides an outdoor facility available for a variety of public events and gatherings.

In the early 2000s the Campbell River downtown faced important challenges in retaining its vitality and ability to attract customers, businesses and investment. A study commissioned in 2005 concluded that one of the primary challenges impeding further commercial and residential development in the downtown area was the lack of a central “draw” or gathering space.

As part of a larger revitalization effort, the Campbell River Spirit Square was built linking the downtown’s cultural amenities; the library, theatre and art gallery. A covered central stage with power and lighting capacity, surrounded by attractive concrete and cedar benches, was constructed to accommodate a variety of activities. The extended square included decorative stone, stainless steel features and etched patterns inlaid in the concrete floor to simulate the sea floor spreading outwards. Distinct marker poles were placed throughout to capture attention of passersby. Green space with native plants was also incorporated while existing downtown elements such as the cenotaph and Netherlands memorial received prominent placement.

Completed in December of 2009, the Campbell River Spirit Square is now an inviting place for people to gather. Special events, such as concerts, festivals and community celebrations draw residents and visitors to the downtown core.  The space also features a summer program of lunchtime and evening concerts drawing additional activity to the downtown area. The attending residents and tourists have significantly increased commercial activity in the area. The development of Spirit Square has also been a been an important catalyst for the revitalization of the downtown core, with four very significant commercial real estate developments each occurring less than a block away from this development. These include a very large, high end senior’s residential complex, a new hotel, a new casino and large, attractive new corporate headquarters of a large corporation.  Significant downtown revitalization has occurred in the vicinity of the new corporate headquarters and a business façade improvement program has also recently been approved to promote further business investment in beautification. 

2,500
person years employment created (construction phase)
50
locally elected officials and MLAs working together
$10.4
million annual provincial government revenue generated
2,600
post completion jobs created
$4.6
dollars leveraged for every ICET dollar invested
$230
million leveraged into the region
$49.1
million disbursed
$50.9
million committed
185
economic development projects
150
projects completed
36%
projects in small (less than 5,000) communities
50+
communities with ICET projects

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