Lake Cowichan Renfrew Town Centre

Town of Lake Cowichan

Sources of Funding
ICET:$126,500
Town of Lake Cowichan:$402,298
The United Church of Canada:$3,500
Total Budget: $532,298
Quick Facts: 

Since project completion there has been an increase in pedestrian traffic throughout the park and town square.

The Town of Lake Cowichan was historically a resourced-based community, heavily reliant on the forestry sector.  Challenging economic times and the closure of Lake Cowichan’s economic-mainstay lumber mills have brought about the need to diversify the economy.  Situated where Cowichan Lake flows into the Cowichan River, and the western terminus to the TransCanada Trail, its natural setting is one of the town’s main assets and Lake Cowichan is well positioned to take advantage of the growth of tourism on Vancouver Island. 

As part of its economic diversification strategy, the Town decided to rejuvenate its downtown core to appeal to both locals and visitors alike.  The plan entails creating a strong focal point in the downtown core, which includes revitalizing historic buildings that were not well used.

The Renfrew Town Square, completed in 2015, will be a focal point for social and cultural gatherings linking the existing Ohtaki and Forest Workers’ Memorial Parks and trail networks.  The revitalization includes an outdoor gathering space and a staging area for festivals and events, located in the downtown core. The project features sustainable, low-maintenance materials which reflect the character of the town, with a logging and outdoor recreation theme. 

By creating a more attractive and enticing gathering place in the town of Lake Cowichan, tourists and nature enthusiasts using the lake and area trails will be encouraged to spend more time in the community.  Spinoffs of this investment generate increased revenue for downtown businesses.  The project has already demonstrated its value as a catalyst for new private sector investment with the addition of four new businesses in the downtown core.  The project is also expected to have an impact on new resident attraction and future residential development.

 

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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