Canada/Redynamizing downtown: La Malbaie adopts a recovery plan

Published on 20/04/2024 | La rédaction


La Malbaie recently enlisted the services of Rues principales to develop a short-term strategy for revitalizing rue Saint-Étienne. As part of this revitalization plan, La Malbaie will be canvassing its residents for their ideas.

May Deslauriers recently decided to focus on downtown La Malbaie.

"I wanted something new and I wanted to grow the business. So it was a great opportunity for me to come to the finished downtown area, and the location was super good," she explains.

With the help of Karine Girard and others, she set about opening an esthetics salon and a café in honor of her grandmother.

"I can see the street being busy because, especially with the terrace, it's ideal. We're right across the street. People can come and eat inside, on our little terrace downstairs or on the terrace on the other side," she points out.

The arrival of dynamic new retailers like May was one of the objectives of the downtown redevelopment project. But La Malbaie doesn't want to stop there. The town wants to take advantage of this era of change to launch a sustainable recovery plan.

"We'll be meeting with shopkeepers and residents. At a later stage, we'll be working with downtown merchants to remobilize and restore governance to give this sector a soul. There's also the commercial recruitment that needs to be done on the street," says Couturier.

Downtown needs leaders, says mayor

In recent months, the street has given way to a number of vacant premises. What's more, downtown merchants have voted to dissolve the SDC. Mayor Michel Couturier believes that the business community now has a major role to play in the future.

"We can't do everything on our own; we need people's commitment too. It's going to take a few leaders in the downtown area to work together to create events," he notes.

Moreover, the refurbishment of the downtown area has left room for some questioning on the part of citizens. The mayor urges patience. The street will be officially completed next June.

"We've found a beautiful environment and I think the furniture will be adequate. When everything is delivered, it will be interesting. As for parking, don't forget that we've been planning the downtown area for five years now," he says, referring to parking facilities on rue Vincent and at the new Eaux-Vives school, among others.

"I see only good things for the future of downtown," says the new shopkeeper.

Citizens and merchants are invited to take part in the consultation on April 23 at City Hall from 6 to 8 pm. Issues related to the commercial section will be discussed.


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