You Can Always Go…Downtown

The more and more I speak to people about the state of downtown Brandon, the more hope I have for the city and it’s downtown core.

Through speaking with friends, co-workers, business owners and some other important downtown people, I’ve learned that downtown Brandon used to be a great and prosperous place. Everyone was downtown. All the businesses you could think of were downtown. It was the center of Brandon. However, over time, it fell victim to what so many other cities have experienced. The urban/suburban sprawl. This brings in two of the biggest culprits of killing downtown’s all across the country, which are big box stores and chain restaurants. People seemingly gravitate towards those things, however unfortunate.

Luckily, it seems as though there is a vision for a new and better downtown core, and it’s not all talk. There seems to be some action taking place. Talking with one business owner, he was excited about the prospects of having outdoor cafe’s and not closing down the streets come next summer. Another thing that’s happening is the McKenzie Seeds building being turned into condos, which is a great investment towards the development of downtown Brandon.

And of course, you can’t forget about what’s already downtown. Today, after strolling through The Town Centre, I spotted a retro decor shop and insisted to my friend that we go in. It was fantastic (and a post about it may be coming soon!) and the owner was more than friendly. There’s also great shops like Ten Thousand Villages and The Marquis Project. And as mentioned before on this blog, good restaurants and pubs like the Chilli Chutney and Double Decker (I’ve heard some others are great, but haven’t been able to venture to those yet). These places have already started the revitalization of downtown and other businesses I hope will follow suit.

If you’re a resident of Brandon, or even the surrounding area and come to Brandon often, make sure that you’re voice is heard. You can take a survey at Renaissance Brandon and let them know what you’re thinking about downtown and how you think it can improve.

Alright, I’m stepping off the soapbox now. And no, I’m not trying to be an ambassador for Brandon. I just love downtown’s, and I really want to see this one work!

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2 thoughts on “You Can Always Go…Downtown

  1. Great things ARE happening downtown. Some of the changes have been a bit messy and the snow may fly before the Brown Block is down and cleaned up, but it feels like we have momentum. There are exciting entertainment ideas for next season, the call for proposals for the former Firehall will generate a buzz, the relocation of hundreds of EAL students on Pacific- all are pieces to the bigger picture. I love downtown- nostalgic memories of what it was, protective feelings for where its at now, and great energy for where its going. Always glad to meet another fan!

  2. I would love to see downtown Brandon revitalized too. I’ve frequented restaurants there A few stick out in my mind are we’re great Chilli Chutney, Double Happiness and Clancy’s. I find a vibrant downtown would be great for Brandon and give it a stronger identity and a more urban city feel. I really hope the city sticks to the plan of revitalizing the downtown. I find overalls Brandon lacks a uniqueness from other cities and refocusing efforts on downtown would be great. One small prairie city that has done a great job with their downtown is Moose Jaw. Perhaps Brandon could pick up some pointers from them.

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