Vancouver’s West End has won the title of Great Neighbourhood in the fifth annual Great Places of Canada competition, with a Kelowna park rounding out the top three grand prizes.
The contest, held by the Canadian Institute of Planners, looked at 29 nominations for three awards: Great Street, Great Neighbourhood and Great Public Space.
Jaspal Marwah, one of the seven jurors, said the West End was chosen because the area is safe and inviting for residents to walk and bike to work, to access local businesses and to explore Vancouver’s beaches, trails and Stanley Park.
In a statement Wednesday, he also cited the neighbourhood’s diversity of residents, transit access, treed promenades, pocket parks and public spaces as examples of what make the neighbourhood a great place to live.
The Great Street winner went to Broadway in Orangeville, Ont., while Kelowna’s Stuart Park won Great Public Space.
Juror Kevin King said Stuart Park bridges Kelowna’s downtown with the natural setting of the Okanagan Valley. Summer performances on the plaza are “memorable,” while free winter-time ice-skating under the clear Okanagan skies invites people in the winter months, he said.
Each of the three newly designated Great Places will receive a stainless steel plaque to recognize the win.
Grizzly Plaza of Revelstoke also received an honourable mention for being a great public space and a welcoming family-friendly environment.
This article originally appeared in the Vancouver Sun on November 4, 2015. The West End Business Improvement Association engaged Nixey Communications and BSTRO to develop and launch their award-winning brand identity.