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Letter: Durham Street, meet Avenue Mont Royal

A recent visit to Montreal inspires a reader to consider a change to downtown Sudbury
The geodesic dome on Durham Street during the Up Here festival in 2021.

I recently returned from a trip to Montréal, where I spent much of my time walking and biking around  the city's many streets. 

Of note, Avenue Mont Royal, which is a completely pedestrianized road, really struck me as something we could achieve in Sudbury. Durham Street in downtown Sudbury is already host to many restaurants and patios, shops and amenities that make it a lively place to be. 

That isn't even mentioning the events that take place on this street, notably the Up Here festival. Durham Street has the potential to strengthen downtown's resurgence and it just needs a little help getting there. 

The roads and lanes that cross Durham between Elgin and Elm streets, would require flexible bollards, and the bus stop in front of the YMCA could be moved, not even 10 meters away, onto Elgin Street.  

These simple changes could allow businesses, and events to take back the street and flourish in a  concentrated core in our downtown, and really become something worth visiting. 

I'm sure someone will have something negative to say, perhaps along the lines of parking, or of downtown not being worth the trouble, but taking on such negative attitudes is partly the reason downtown remains that way. 

Why wouldn't you want to take the time to examine any and all opportunities to make our built environment better? Being defeatist about it certainly won't help.

The possibility of turning downtown's Durham Street into a full-time pedestrian street, replete with shops, apartments, access to amenities and entertainment is something I hope to see discussed by the broader public, and something I hope, if it came down to it, could help make the downtown a better place to be. 

David Gagnon