September was a good month for Mission residents and local business as two exciting announcements were made. The first is the District of Mission’s partnership with TELUS to introduce PureFibre to the area, offering community-wide broadband connectivity. The second is that the District will invest $3.5 million into the First Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project in the downtown core from Horne Street to Grand Street.
It has been consistently communicated to the District of Mission by homeowners and many local businesses and institutions (industry, hospital, education facilities) that improvements to our telecommunications infrastructure was required. In line with this and the District’s commitment to technology-led economic growth, TELUS is investing $26 million into the Mission community with its fibre optic network, representing a major technological advancement for both our economic and social landscape.. In the next few months, the majority of homes and businesses will have direct access to light speed internet connectivity, rapidly increasing upload and download times and providing reliable internet connections and improved cell phone reception. Local businesses will have enough bandwidth to move large volumes of data, which will create efficiencies and allow them to compete in the local and global marketplace.
The initial public consultation for the Official Community Plan (OCP) saw the Downtown highlighted by many residents as an historic treasure to be celebrated. The recently announced $3.5M upgrade to the downtown streetscape is designed to improve the pedestrian environment and create a safer and more attractive experience. The enhancements, which are scheduled for construction in 2018, will include a moderate widening of the sidewalk to incorporate a decorative strip, an increase in the bump-outs at intersections to improve pedestrian safety, new litterbins, bike racks, benches, bollards, more trees with the introduction of new tree grates, new street lights with banner polls and hanging basket brackets (complete with irrigation) and parking lane painting.
This recent announcement has already paid dividends as investment inquiries have increased and use of the downtown façade improvement program has had several recent applications come to fruition, the latest being awarded to the new home of Decode Escape Rooms.
In all, these recent announcements add to the positive momentum associated with our development potential and the renewal of our downtown core – the heart of our community.