It’s further proof that Lacombe is one of the best places to live in Canada.
Lacombe’s historic 50 Ave. is a finalist in the Streets Category of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) annual Greatest Places in Canada contest.
City of Lacombe Planner Jen Kirchner was the one who got the ball rolling on the nomination and subsequent finalist placing.
Kirchner, a member of CIP, said she had seen the emails regarding the contest each year, but had never considering entering before. This year however, especially with all the work that had been done with the Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan, she decided to give it a shot.
“It was basically done almost as a lark,” said Kirchner.
She added that she never expected Lacombe’s involvement in the contest to receive the attention it has.
Kirchner said she only sent a few emails off to a few people to see if they would vote and things grew from there.
“It just kind of spiraled,” said Kirchner.
Mayor Steve Christie said that placing as a finalist in the contest is a great thing for Lacombe and only further cements its position as one of the best places to live in Canada.
“I think it’s a great thing and I think it just adds to our arsenal of why Lacombe is the eighth best City in Canada in which to live,” said Christie. “Everything we are doing here, I think is going to come together one day.”
Christie added that this recognition does not only say something about Lacombe today, but also compliments planners and the decisions made by them in the past.
“It also reaches back to the historic, to the decisions that were made back in the day,” he said. “It’s kind of neat to be able to tie the historic significance to present day.”
In wake of the recent election where economic growth was such a hot topic, Christie continued to say that he sees this as a benefit for Lacombe’s economic development as well.
He said this achievement will bring people to Lacombe, which will bring more businesses as well.
“It also connects with our economic development,” said Christie. “It draws business, it draws people to come see Lacombe.”
Lacombe’s 50 Ave. is competing against Goderich, Ontario’s Courthouse Square, Kelowna, British Columbia’s Bernard Ave. and Edmonton’s 104 St. Promenade in the streets category.
Two winners will be chosen from the category, one for the People’s Choice Award, which is determined solely by viewer votes and a Great Street Award, which is determined by a combination of votes and scoring from a panel of professional planners.
Kirchner credited the brick construction of Lacombe’s historic buildings along 50 Ave. for the area existing with little infill for so many years.
She added this contributes to the beauty of the street and was a factor in her decision to nominate 50 Ave. for the contest.
“Fiftieth Avenue is quite a unique area.”
Meanwhile, voting is now closed for the Great Places in Canada contest.
Winners will be announced Nov. 8 via the CIP web site at www.cip-icu.ca/greatplaces at 9 a.m. EST.
Should Lacombe be chosen as a winner, Christie will be awarded with a plaque on behalf of the City of Lacombe that will be displayed at City Hall to honour this recognition.