I DROVE DOWN TRANQUILLE ROAD the other day from Overlanders Bridge to Fortune Drive. It felt as if I was in a whole new town.
First, there was the vibrant green mixed use apartments with brewery at Clapperton Road. Then on adjacent corners of Wood Street, there was the renovated Kamloops Innovation Centre and the Manshadi medical centre & apartments.
In construction were more mixed use residential & commercial buildings at Spirit Square. Further on, at Vernon Avenue, there’s a four-story seniors residence.
Across the road on the west side, Library Square hosts a hotel, public library, shops and hundreds of apartment condominiums.
Soon there there will be another construction site at Simcoe Street, near Fortune Drive, hosting residential and commercial.
Sleepy Tranquille Market is being transformed. In the span of 10 years, single-story commercial has been replaced by vibrant multi-story, mixed-use buildings.
It didn’t just happen.
A large amount of credit goes to the planners at City Hall.
Eleven years ago, in 2008, City of Kamloops released the “North Shore Neighborhood Plan”. Led by then city planner Carla Stewart, the plan laid out the blueprint for what has since come to be built. The plan put into place the land use that has allowed for the Tranquille Market to be transformed into a vibrant, urban area of Kamloops full fo mixed use residential and commercial buildings.
I often marvel at the good fortune of Kamloops to have had such strong planning. The Highway 1 bypass, constructed in the ‘70’s, has been a godsend to the city, preserving the downtown commercial and residential neighbourhoods.
One only has to look at Kelowna, who also had the option of a bypass but turned it down, to know how important planning is. Planning preserves livability. Planning makes a growing city enjoyable.
Planning takes patience and foresight. At any one time, the City of Kamloops has a handful of plans on the go. Currently, the Recreation Master Plan, the Transit Future Master Plan, and the Downtown Plan are just a few in the works. The City is always looking for input from residents on the plans.
Here’s hoping these plans will be as good for the future of Kamloops as the North Shore Neighborhood Plan has been. Here’s hoping we have the patience to see the plans through to completion as well.
Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.