City gets public input on future of downtown block

40 people crammed around tables at the Manual Training Centre Tuesday night to discuss the future of the downtown city-owned block

On Tuesday night about 40 people crammed around tables at the Manual Training Centre in Cranbrook to discuss ideas about the future of the downtown city-owned block that houses city hall, the police station, the fire hall and Studio Stage Door.

The event was a workshop to aid the city in coming up with ideas as to what direction the city should take in future planning for the space.

It started off with Rob Veg, senior planner for the city, talking about the rough guidelines the city was looking for. After the meeting Veg would take the ideas and draft up a report for council. Then council would presumably draw on those ideas for future planning.

The workshop was originally the idea of Coun. Bob Whetham after the swell of support for the preservation of the city electrical building behind city hall, originally slated to be disassembled.

Whetham wanted the city to get input from the public with a wider focus on the city block, as in the future the city will likely want to expand city hall and either expand or rebuild the RCMP building.

On the topic of the brick building, the consensus seemed to be that it was part of Cranbrook’s heritage and should be maintained or rebuilt or used as a storage building. In that regard it could store equipment for the farmers’ market or equipment for the city.

It could also be a display for old fire engines or a small museum showcase for the history of the surrounding area.

On the topic of the old fire hall, ideas included a new home for the Cranbrook Arts Council, a public multi-use facility or a Cranbrook-focused museum. There was agreement that it could be a draw for downtown, with its heritage character and history.

For the public space, the area between the buildings, some of the suggestions were an artwalk/public art exhibit, a market on 1st Street, additional green space and an expansion of the Pat Casey Park on the south side of city hall. One idea was to pull up the asphalt that lies between the fire hall and city hall and line it with cobblestone and shrubbery to give it a more historical draw.

Overall it seemed many in the workshop wanted the space to have a strong connection with the rest of downtown and to be a showcase and the heart of the city.

And back to the RCMP building, which to many is the most difficult to deal with. The building is showing its age and starting to get cramped so will likely be expanded or rebuilt in the next 20 years or so.

In the shorter term, the RCMP have been wanting a more secure compound for their vehicles, since at the moment most are parked in the alleyway behind the building. Some suggested that the parking lot between the RCMP building and the Studio Stage Door could be turned into that secure compound.

Another option is that the brick building becomes a secure evidence locker for the police.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The patio at the HeidOut and other Cranbrook restaurant patios will still be open for business during the circuit breaker restriction period. Corey Bullock photo
Indoor dining restrictions likely to be extended: Industry group

Restrictions to in-person restaurant dining that were implemented as part of a… Continue reading

It happened this week in 1914

April 11 - 17: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison hopes for economic recovery plan in upcoming federal budget

Kootenay-Columbia Conservative looking for post-pandemic recovery plan in next week’s Liberal budget

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via
VIDEO: B.C. car dealer posts clip of thieves towing a truck right off his lot

Video shows one white truck towing another off Vancouver Island lot

FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to request federal exemption for simple drug possession

Announcement comes on 5-year anniversary of B.C.’s first public health emergency

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FIle)
Rare blood clots ‘may be linked’ to AstraZeneca vaccines: Health Canada

One case of the adverse effect has been reported in Canada

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Observers ‘gutted’ as pair filmed removing red dresses hung along B.C. highway

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Indigenous Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read