Great Places in Canada contest running at full pace
Canadians have until the end of January to nominate the coolest places in the country for the second annual Great Places in Canada.
Communities are scrambling to have their favourite street, neighbourhood or public space named one of the greatest locations. Voting takes place until February 29. The judges will then decide on the semi-finalists in early April and announce the winners at the end of April. People’s Choice awards will also be made in each of the three categories.
Nominations are being accepted at www.GreatPlacesInCanada.com, where Canadians can also vote and follow the competition. Nomination winners are eligible for prizes that include Via Rail vouchers, gift cards from Mountain Equipment Co-Op and Roots Canada, and a write up in WestJet’s inflight up! magazine.
The competition is attracting some very determined support. Botanical Beach in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park near Port Renfrew, BC, is currently the leader in the Great Public Space category. “It’s really exciting that the Botanical Beach is leading, but we need to get the vote out to secure our top spot!” says Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce President Rose Betsworth.
Not to be outdone, Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver, BC, is touting the merits of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, currently the runner-up in the same category.
“Vancouver’s historic Chinatown is a unique neighbourhood that reflects our diversity,” said Robertson. “The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden is one of our most treasured cultural spaces, and I hope the voters in this contest agree.”
The top nominees in the Great Street category are Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, and Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) in Alberta.
“More than 3 million people visit Niagara-on-the-Lake every year and we hope that everyone who has enjoyed Queen Street will vote for us,” said Niagara-on-the-Lake Mayor Dave Eke.
Mayor Richard Ireland of Jasper, AB, says the Icefields Parkway “provides spectacular views of Canada’s pristine mountain environment and is one of the most scenic drives in the world; we are so proud of the recognition it’s getting.”
Parkdale in Toronto is currently laying claim to the first place in the Great Neighbourhoods category. Councillor Gord Perks says that “Parkdale is the dynamic and inclusive community I am proud to represent. The secret is out…it is one of the best places in Canada!”
Victoria Park in Kitchener, ON, is one of the top ranked nominations for Canada’s Great Neighbourhood.
Mayor Carl Zehr says, “Having Victoria Park – the jewel of our city – nestled in its midst has made this near 200-year-old neighbourhood a cultural and recreational destination for residents and visitors, who are interested in learning more about our city’s past and enjoying some of our finest amenities.”
33 nominations have collectively received over 3,400 votes.