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Canada’s 2013 Great Places Announced

November 13, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Five locations in Canada have been named this year’s Great Places.

They join the ranks of 15 other Great Places which have been honoured since the competition started in 2010.

There were 68 nominations this year, and more than 100,000 votes were received from Canadians across the country over the four-month contest period. The 2013 winners are being announced today as part of Canadian celebrations of World Town Planning Day.

“From the foothills of the Rockies to the shores of Lake Huron, from the Forest City to the Bay of Fundy, the award-winning locations are diverse and inspiring,” says Michael Gordon, President of the Canadian Institute of Planners which hosts the annual contest. CIP is the professional association of urban planners.

The Grand Prize winners – selected on the basis of both popularity and planning excellence as judged by a panel of experts – are:

Great Neighbourhood: Old South/ Wortley Village, London, ON
Great Street: Lacombe’s Historic Main Street, Lacombe, AB
Great Public Space: Saint John City Market, Saint John, NB

The People’s Choice Award winners – based solely on the number of votes – were announced as well. They are:

Great Neighbourhood: Old South/ Wortley Village, London, ON
Great Street: Courthouse Square, Goderich, ON
Great Public Space: McAdam Train Station, McAdam, NB

Wortley Village in London is a double award winner – taking both a Grand Prize and a People’s Choice Award.Jaspal Marwah, a member of the judging panel, says the neighbourhood stood out in the competition because it is “an excellent example of a place where one can walk and bike to work, school and recreation, and also enjoy a diversity of housing options so residents of many ages and circumstance can contribute to their community. Here, local business thrives, friendly conversation abounds, and community efforts bring an enduring vitality to the village.”

Lacombe’s Historic Main Street was chosen in part because “the heritage Edwardian buildings are seen as a valuable community resource not only to be appreciated but to be used,” notes judge Gary Noble. “City programs have supported and enhanced the vitality of this historic setting, and it is the center of community activities year round.”

Saint John City Market is a cultural and historic icon, says Teresa Rittemann, another judge. “Its unique architectural character reflects the local landscape and traditions of Saint John as a port city. It provides year-round economic opportunities and social interaction for people of all ages and abilities, fosters local food security, and promotes the use of public and active transportation in its interconnectedness with the rest of the city.”

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