Dawson: It's not a Sparks Street problem, it's a downtown problem

By Tyler Dawson, Ottawa Citizen, January 19, 2018

Mayor Jim Watson, bless his soul. “There are no bad ideas,” he said last week about revitalizing Sparks Street.

There absolutely are terrible ideas and we’ll doubtless hear about them as Ottawa tries again to save Sparks. Here’s one: Trying to save Sparks without considering all of downtown.

(...)The problem with Sparks Street is it suffers from the same problem as all of downtown: There just aren’t that many people around and the business district just isn’t that interesting.

If Sparks is to be saved, it’ll require a wholesale change to how Ottawa thinks of downtown, as an area separate from Elgin Street or Chinatown or the ByWard Market.


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