There’s no question that the intersection of Dundas and Richmond has been a topic of discussion in London, Ontario over the years….and not always with a positive tone. The area has been the meeting place for some not-so-awesome activity (aka drug deals), but it seems like those days may be nearing an end.
The City of London has launched “My Dundas,” a community initiative to revitalize the area, and the idea is to turn “Dundas Street” into “Dundas Place.” The stretch of Dundas between Wellington street and the Thames River will evolve into a “Flex Street,” meaning that it will be able to serve a variety of uses, catering to pedestrians, events, cars, buses, bikes, depending on any given day.
The four block stretch saw a dress-rehearsal of sorts this past September, with the My Dundas Launch Event. The area was closed to vehicle traffic, but open for a party. There were food trucks, vendors, live music, and even an attempt to break a Guinness World Record (which didn't happen...but they were close). There were also a number of workshops where the public was able to provide feedback and vision for what they want Dundas Place to look like in the future.
Based on the community engagement so far, it looks like Dundas Place will become a major hub for entertainment and festivals. There will be built in infrastructure to support a variety of different events, and the fact that it’s already home to the new Fanshawe College downtown campus, supports the area in becoming an Arts and Education District for London, Ontario.
2015 was the city’s second best year for real estate ever (it was my personal best as well) and initiatives like My Dundas and Back to the River are great examples of how this city is really starting to change for the better. You can stay up to date with the project on Twitter using #MyDundas (and follow me at @real8rmel). It will be exciting to see what 2016 has in store!