Reevely: Let us try, once more, to save Sparks Street

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, January 11, 2018

With light-rail stations due to open nearby, a new Indigenous centre promised for Wellington Street and a push on by the federal government to spiff up the Parliamentary Precinct, the city is holding a public consultation on Saturday on how to revive Sparks Street. Again.

Wait, no, it’s too soon to be cynical. I’ll hold off for a few hundred words.

The session will be led personally by Mayor Jim Watson. That’s unusual, and a sign of how seriously the city is taking it. The city controls the “public realm” on Sparks — the street part, in between the buildings. That’s very important but it’s also limited. A street can be built and appointed as beautifully as you like, but it’s the activities and businesses that define it, not the quality of the cobblestones and comfiness of the benches.

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