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Elora's Village Core Plan
Forecasting Opportunities, Rewarding Outcomes
Elora, ON, Canada
Elora Business Improvement Area
“Strategically informing decades of core area improvement, continuing the anchoring of Ontario’s Most Beautiful Village.”
Situated along a spectacular gorge and along the banks of the Grand and Irvine Rivers lies the evolving destination – known as “Ontario’s most beautiful village” – Elora. Its core area has been transforming within a complex landscape of small town conveniences, an historic mill operation, remnant buildings and parking areas, and ever-challenged open and natural space into a destination amenity with abundant charm and appeal.
Realizing its potential, the Elora Business Improvement Area (BIA) sought a plan (2005) to align itself favourably with anticipated private development and township public work initiatives; an effort was needed to define a future direction for “village core” improvement. SKA (now pl.ural) developed a set of design planning strategies to anticipate and embrace physical consequences of change and maintenance of Elora’s core – its village core area – deliberate placemaking was set in motion.
The Village Core Plan supported the township’s Official Plan and considered the context of the township’s and BIA’s fiscal realities. It established a set of 25 strategies and demonstrated how these might be realized over time, guided through short-, medium- and long-term development horizons. It built on the best of what exists, seeking to enhance the essential qualities of Elora’s core area and context. It was expected to be implemented incrementally, both by its influence on projects relating to specific user groups and by infrastructure or public place projects to serve the common good. To date no fewer than 15 of 19 key projects identified within the plan have been completed or are in momentum. Strategies serving environmental quality, the core area’s spatial structure, identity and movement, and implementation has strengthened Ontario’s most beautiful village.
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