Have you been downtown lately?
If not, you should.
With the first phase of a major revitalization project complete and traffic once again flowing between Richter and St. Paul streets, residents can get a taste of the improvements that will eventually stretch all the way down Bernard Avenue to the Sails.
The super-wide sidewalks and narrower street lend a completely different feel to the area. Trees, benches, artwork and distinctive lighted gateway posts make it an inviting, pedestrian-friendly place to shop, dine or just to people-watch.
We can't wait to experience it during an Okanagan summer.
Reaction from those we've talked to so far has been universally positive, and businesses have praised the way in which the work was done so as to minimize its impact on retailers.
So, if you're looking to patronize local businesses this Christmas, why not give the little guys downtown a boost they might need after several months of inconvenience and reduced access?
Work will pick up again in the new year at the opposite end of the street, between Abbott and Pandosy, as underground infrastructure is replaced and similar above-ground amenities are added. It's expected to reopen in time for the summer tourist season.
As Mayor Walter Gray said at the start of the project, it's like a "heart transplant" for downtown Kelowna.
- And while we're on the positive news, how about those Rockets, eh?
The home team has extended its unbeaten streak at home to 12 straight wins. While you're downtown, why not add a hockey game to your visit?
- Managing Editor