Grand Forks celebrates downtown improvements with ribbon cutting ceremony

Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor cut the ribbon at a ceremony celebrating the improvements to the downtown core.

Cutline: Grand Forks’ councillors (from left) Cher Wyers

Cutline: Grand Forks’ councillors (from left) Cher Wyers

Grand Forks City Council was joined by Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson as Mayor Brian Taylor cut the ribbon at a ceremony on Thursday celebrating the improvements to the downtown core.

“It’s the initiative here that has set the tone for the change of attitude that we’re seeing and the enthusiasm that we’re seeing,” said Taylor. “The aesthetics of the community are really important. Most of the changes we’ve done haven’t been really expensive but have really showed off the attractiveness of this particular downtown street.”

Taylor said the seating areas and bicycle racks have proven popular.

“People want to come down and wander from store to store,” he said. “Before, their was nowhere for them to sit. Bicycle racks are another simple thing that’s made it easy for people to come down and park their bikes.”

Also speaking at the event was Carol Lajoie, chair of the Grand Forks Downtown Business Association.

“I think it’s very exciting that the City has taken the initiative to start some downtown revitalization,” she said. “This is a great first step. Obviously, the focus has been on Market Avenue. We look forward to expanding to the rest of downtown (in the future).”

Lajoie also echoed Taylor’s comments on the popularity of the benches.

“One of the comments I’m getting is how much people are enjoying having benches again downtown and having a place to sit,” she said. “People are also talking about how nice downtown is looking with the repairs that have been done including the flower baskets, the painting of the crosswalks, and just how good everything looks.”