Clifford’s Rotary Celebration Square is set to get around $95,000 worth of improvements aimed at transforming it into a community hub capable of hosting concerts, markets and gatherings during special events like parades and street celebrations.
Planned elements include tables, benches, landscaping, a gateway feature, paving and a heritage wall that could be used to highlight prominent citizens or feature rotating public art.
Minto treasurer Gordon Duff said the park will be a place for people to gather "whether they're locals or visitors."
“Clifford has so many restaurants now," Duff said. "It's a nice place to order takeout from a restaurant and eat it in this little park – things like that"
He said the town has long been invested in “placemaking” — the idea that “the function of a city or a community is to provide quality of life. It's not just a highway to get the cars through, its a place for people to come and meet each other," he explained. The Rotary Celebration Square project is part of that effort and Duff views it as especially important as the community emerges from the pandemic.
“We're trying to provide safe gathering places, he said.
Minto has applied for two federal funding programs for the project in an effort to increase its odds. Duff said each would cover around 70 per cent of the cost. The town’s portion, approximately $28,500 will come from its allocation from the COVID-19 Recovery Fund.
Depending on when funding comes through, construction at the square could start this fall, but Duff said it’s more likely the improvements will be installed in spring of 2022.
Alison Sandstrom, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com