Despite fears of losing something of its uniqueness, Algonquin Highlands council confirmed its participation in the countywide community wayfinding strategy.
Council was briefed during its regular meeting Sept. 15 about Haliburton County’s economic development and tourism efforts. Part of that entails new signage to be agreed upon by each municipality.
Scott Ovell, the county’s director of economic development and tourism, said the strategy will be a unified look to directional signage to local points of interest. It will adhere to common branding features as size, colour, and design.
“We want everybody on board with it,” Ovell said of the strategy. “It will be a big project.
“Whatever is being installed has to work for everybody and I think there are ways that can be done.”
One of the main responsibilities for each municipality in the county is to identify an inventory of points of interest to be included in the wayfinding strategy, he said.
Moffatt said she’s concerned the township could lose something of its unique self through a homogenized look.
“I do have a concern about losing us,” she said.
That was a worry shared by Deputy Mayor Liz Danielsen.
But Ovell said there are examples throughout the province of subtle ways in which individual municipalities have managed to differentiate themselves within a signage strategy that’s largely uniform.
“Really, it comes down to identifying key community assets,” he said.
Not only is every township unique, he said, but there are components within each township that are different.
Councillor Jennifer Dailloux said her family spends a lot of time in Algonquin Park and the current signage is iconic.
“It develops a sense of place that when you see the first portage sign there’s a chill of excitement because you know where you are,” Dailloux said. “You’ve seen that portage sign since you were a kid.”
Moffatt said it’d be nice to create a similar sense of belonging and joy from wayfinding in Haliburton County.
“As soon as you saw that yellow and brown, you knew you were home,” Moffatt said.
James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo