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Castlegar Today

The City of Castlegar’s current Community Plan was completed in 2011 and set the following objectives or BIG IDEAS (OCP, 2011) that have shaped what Castlegar is today.

Connecting the Community

Changing transit services in Castlegar have improved the connections from North Castlegar to South Castlegar and the surrounding area. Castlegar will continue to build on these successes and advance the idea of a multi-modal transportation corridor along Columbia Avenue through its Complete Streets Program. The City has completed a Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan that supports an expanded active transportation system.

Embracing the River

The Columbia River is a vital ecosystem for a wide variety of species and an important migratory corridor to the Rockies and Pacific Ocean. It is also an amenity that residents and visitors should be able to enjoy. Riverfront amenities include, but are not limited to the Millennium Walkway, Zuckerberg Island, Millennium Park, and informal walking and hiking trails. The Millennium Park Master Plan was completed in 2019.

Revitalizing the Downtown

The City has recently completed a Downtown Area Plan and is working toward the development of Downtown Design Guidelines. Recent projects that support the revitalization of the Downtown include the newly adopted Sidewalk Vendor Bylaw which encourages outdoor patios and vending and a Development Incentive Program that supports new and expanded commercial development and multi-unit housing.

Growing Locally

The City has several community gardens, including one in Millennium Park which supports school programing and community education. The City also collects yard waste on an annual basis to create free compost for use by City residents. A Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday from early Spring to late Fall.

Diversifying the Economy

The City has recently developed an Economic Development Strategy that focuses on its strengths as a wood first community, outdoor recreation opportunities and education and technology hub. The City has developed a Development Incentive Program to attract new businesses and support and enhance the existing business community.

Regional Partnerships

Working with adjacent communities towards common sustainability goals and providing complementary services and facilities. The City often partners with neighboring local governments in the delivery of services and in undertaking programming that is of benefit to everyone. Recent examples include the City’s participation in the West Kootenay 100% Renewable Energy Plan.

Gateways to Castlegar

Creating distinctive entrances to the City along Highway 3, Highway 3A, Highway 22 and the Downtown. The City has recently completed a Wayfinding Program that enhances placemaking in these locations.

Improving Year-Round Access

Improving access to the City and region during winter should be done by working with the airlines serving the West Kootenay Regional Airport and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The City is working on improved navigation to increase its reliability as a regional transportation hub and with BC Transit on connectivity between West Kootenay communities and within the City.

Getting Out of Our Cars

The City has adopted a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. To support the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, and other initiatives to get people out of their cars, the City has encouraged more multiple family developments and developments with a mixture of commercial and residential uses with a focus on closer proximity to where people live, work, learn and play through its OCP.

Linking History & Place

An inventory of historical places and spaces enables the City to balance the appropriate level of protection with openness to access and education of the public about Castlegar’s rich history. The City has several national and regionally recognized historic places, including the Doukhobor Discovery Center, Castlegar Station Museum, and Zuckerberg Island.

Aging in Place & Supporting Diversity in Living Arrangements

The City has recently completed a Housing Needs Report and Housing Strategy and is actively working to encourage a more diverse housing environment that meets the needs of all residents. Strategies include flexibility in zoning to better enable infill and densification, supporting non-profit and supportive housing providers through donation of city owned lands, and the creation of a Housing Advisory Committee.

Supporting a Culture of Creativity

Castlegar is a place that supports creativity. This is not only reserved for the creative arts, but also creative ways of doing things. Sculpture Walk and Communities in Bloom have long attracted visitors to our community, helped downtown business, and engaged citizens in decision-making for public art and volunteerism in how our community blooms. Recent initiatives include the creation of pollinator gardens through the creation of a Butterfly Way throughout the City and the installation of murals in collaboration with City businesses and the legion.

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