THUNDER BAY — Artists from across Thunder Bay enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine earlier this week as they gathered on St. Paul Street to paint eight picnic tables that will be used to enhance the waterfront district this summer.
Kara Pratt, co-ordinator of the Waterfront District Business Improvement Area (BIA), says Sociable Thunder Bay and the BIA are working together with the City of Thunder Bay and the artists on the project.
“We are decorating borrowed city picnic tables that are ours for the summer and hopefully summers in the future,” said Pratt, adding, “We did get permission to paint them . . . don’t worry.”
The BIA listened to visitors to the downtown core last year and found more vibrancy with the streets was suggested.
“So we delivered this summer,” she said.
In an effort to bring some “liveliness” to the street-scapes this year, the painted picnic tables were at the top of the list. Some of the tables will stay on St. Paul Street and some may be moving into various spots on the closed streets, says Pratt. It’s just a matter of where they will fit.
They will remain on St. Paul Street for the time being with planters set up by the Port Arthur Rotary to divide them and add some vibrancy.
“At the moment there are eight tables and we are searching for more,” said Pratt.
“Some of them will be put out into other patio areas that are part of the pilot program that the city is working on with Brook Mcllroy, the architect and consultant for the north core rejuvenation.”
Meanwhile, Neighbourhood Day activities will be underway in the waterfront business district.
“Our businesses are “chalking” the sidewalk this weekend and it will be quite colourful and vibrant down here as everybody gets out over the next couple of days and “rainbowfies” our sidewalks,” says Pratt.
A few of the businesses will be running socially distanced events involving a bubble machine and plenty of chalk for everyone to colour the sidewalks.
“We want to see lots of foot traffic out there and lots of people supporting local businesses . . . not just the restaurants, but the retailers too,” she said. “Today (Saturday) will probably be the busiest day for everybody down here. We are also a great conduit to get to Prince Arthur’s landing.”
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal