Along the beautiful Rideau Canal, close to the vibrant Downtown Core sits an underutilized commercial and industrial area with the potential of becoming a key waterfront development in the Town of Smiths Falls. A visioning exercise was completed in January 2023 to help reimagine the area to full future potential.  The project provided the Town with new design concepts and a Design and Visioning Report that will serve as the first step in an overall master planning project.

Project Area 
The target area for redevelopment is the block of land bounded by Chambers Street to the north with the southern boundary being the Rideau River. Gile Street being the eastern boundary and 17 Chambers Street being the western boundary. The area is approximately 14 acres.

Overview image of property with buildings, open space and streets

Scope of Work

Fotenn Planning + Design has been retained to provide an overview of urban design issues, and preliminary concept drawings and final illustrations.

Illustrations will be based on ideas generated from steering committee/public input and Town staff during the planning process and must demonstrate sound urban design principles. Fotenn Planning + Design, in collaboration with the Town, will prepare and conduct a Design Charrette/Workshop that will provide direction to the future creation of a Master Plan, that can be supported by Town Council, and utilized by Town Staff, developers and private landowners to revitalize Centre Street area.

The principles of “Traditional Neighbourhood Design” while also highlighting the need to “create a cohesive community identity on the Rideau Canal” as outlined in the OP, will guide the “Design Charrette” process and the advice and counsel of consultant team.

The Centre Street Revitalization Visioning and Design project will.

  • Undertake a Design Charrette process to capture public and stakeholder input on the future revitalization of the subject area.
  • Result in the creation of design concepts.
  • Maximizes the potential economic and design-based benefits to the community and contributes to an enhanced “quality of life” experience for citizens and visitors.
  • Provides a road map that guides the next steps for implementing the design project.
Project Life Cycle

Master Planning

The second phase of this project includes the development of a Centre Street Revitalization Master Plan that will provide a road map and guide the next steps for implementing actions for redevelopment.

  • A capital Budget ask of $50,000 has been included in the 2023 Draft Budget (requires final approval).
  • If approved an Request for Proposal will be created to procure a qualified consultant to lead the process and develop the master plan.

Visioning and Design Report

Visioning and Design Concept for the Revitalization of Centre Street Area is currently at this stage
  • Resulted in the creation of design concepts to illustrate and/or visualize what we heard.
  • Provides direction for a future Master Plan, that captures the views and interests of key stakeholders gathered through the Design Charette process, including but not limited to private landowners, Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Smiths Falls Management Board, Parks Canada, building leaseholders, and the community in general.
  • Provides recommendations that help realize the potential economic and design-based benefits to the community and contribute to an enhanced “quality of life” experience for citizens and visitors.

Online Survey

An online survey was launched to obtain public and stakeholder feedback, and received over 200 responses.

Design Workshop/Charrette

A public open house and workshop was completed on November 2, 2022 which provided the public an opportunity to understand the project and give feedback to inform the design and vision concepts outlined in the final report.

Awarding of Contract

Council awarded the contract to the Fotenn Planning + Design on October 11, 2022 at the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Request for Proposals

Proposal submission deadline was September 23, 2022.

Who's Listening?

For more information on this project:

Julia Crowder, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism


Phone Number: 613-285-4164 x 1107

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