The City of Kamloops will soon be working to create a new neighbourhood plan for the McGill Corridor. This post is part of a series is to highlight the unique history, geography, culture and potential of this rapidly changing neighbourhood before the planning process takes place. Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union (TRUSU) understands the impact that the proposed changes could have on students, as well as the broader campus community. TRUSU is committed to doing everything we can to share information, start discussions, and connect people to engage in this process. To stay informed about opportunities to provide feedback to the city on the McGill Corridor plan, sign-up at the end of this post.
The McGill Corridor is one of the most rapidly changing neighbourhoods in the City of Kamloops. It is quickly densifying with new condo developments both on-and-off the TRU campus. There are many new types of businesses in the area such as gyms, restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries, in addition to some of the long-standing businesses like grocery stores and big-box retail stores.
In other words, the McGill Corridor is increasingly becoming a full-featured neighbourhood that is both a destination for residents living in other parts of the city as well having most of the services for someone living in the area.
But what is still missing from the McGill Corridor? This is perhaps a more interesting question to ask leading into the creation of a new municipal plan for the area.
Pedestrian Friendly Spaces
In past blog posts at TRUSU, we’ve discussed the need for pedestrian-friendly spaces, but this is likely the biggest barrier moving forward to the McGill Corridor neighbourhood.
The neighbourhood is geared toward vehicles, which isn’t inherently a bad thing, but it does create challenges for the neighbourhood to evolve into a more liveable space in the future.
It’s an interesting challenge because the TRU campus space, which is a significant part of the McGill Corridor, is already fairly pedestrian-friendly.
But the campus space is not very accessible to the general community — both because general community members may not feel fully comfortable using the space but also for more practical reasons such as the limited availability of parking on campus.
As the opportunities for commercial space continue to open up in the McGill Corridor, particularly along the frontage of TRU, the lack of on-street parking will increasingly become a barrier for business growth for business growth.
There have already been well-documented parking issues for business in the Landmark development, so future developments will need to tread carefully to not repeat similar mistakes.
The lack of on-street parking is likely to only compound these issues.
Kamloops is known to have a good climate for much of the year, likely part of the reason many of us live in this beautiful city.
Comfortable patio space for bars, restaurants, and cafes can be surprisingly hard to find though, especially in the McGill corridor. There are very few outdoor spaces like this available.
When thinking about and discussing the future of the McGill corridor, designing spaces that are comfortable to use outdoors may be a helpful consideration, particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Detached homes are arguably not necessary to create a vibrant, livable neighbourhood.
But it is undeniable that there are not very many of them in the McGill Corridor. This can prompt some good questions about if there are different considerations in promoting a strong sense of community among largely high-density condos.
What do you think is missing from the McGill Corridor? Let us know!
TRUSU will be encouraging all interested students, faculty, staff, and community members to share their visions for the future of the McGill Corridor in 2022. If you want to be notified when there are updates on the McGill Corridor plan or opportunities for you to provide feedback to the City of Kamloops, please enter your information below.