Two days of meetings paints great possibilities
By Mike Williscraft
Those on hand for a series of meetings at the Fleming Centre in Beamsville last week all seem to be of the same mind: Lincoln is on the precipice of something great.
How great, said Mayor Sandra Easton, is up how the development of Prudhomme’s Landing is crafted.
“This is one of my most proud moments,” said Easton as she kicked off a three-hour blue sky session last Wednesday morning.
“This is one of the most exciting projects in our history.”
With that, the reins of the meeting were handed over to consultant Ken Greenberg, former director of urban design and architecture for the City of Toronto, to set the tone for the day’s discussions.
“You have a tremendous opportunity here. It is not a tabula rasa. There are some existing assets,” said Greenberg.
“The challenge is to weave these things together.”
To meet that challenge, Greenberg said plans need to make the future of the site meld with other facets of Niagara Region.
Similarly, it needs to match with directions of the 20 Valley. The QEW needs to be overcome as a barrier between the lake and the lands to the south. As well, the composition of the site development itself needs to be capitalized on.
Noting there will be 3 kms of waterfront in any final site plan, Greenberg said there is an opportunity not unlike Toronto’s Beaches area – the development of which he oversaw.
When all is said and done, the key aspect to making the whole area a success will be the creation of an integrated marketing approach to make the spot a “knowable place”.
He used Prince Edward County, the Finger Lakes region and Newfoundland as examples of successful “knowable place” marketing plans.
“Newfoundland/Labrador has the best marketing campaign. They’re not lying. it is as beautiful as it appears,” said Greenberg.
“The whole province got together and bought in.”
As an immediate, low-cost project, Greenberg said all the components for a highly accessible, 10-km bike trail is already laid out. He likened possible success with that project to Sault Ste. Marie’s Hub Trail, which connects the whole city to the waterfront.
The 50-hectare Prudhomme’s site won’t be just condos, he noted. In answering a question from Lincoln CAO Mike Kirkopolous about maintaining a Niagara feel for any result, Greenberg said that is paramount to any future success.
“I understand U.S. travel writers have talked about the area’s authenticity. It is important to draw that out and highlight what is here.”