Town council got a peek at the initial drawing of Smiths Falls’ future town square on Monday night. The new town square will be created in the space between the Library and Town Hall, eliminating the small segment of Daniel Street between Beckwith and Elmsley Streets. David Lashley, from Lashley and Associates, presented the proposed design during the Committee of the Whole meeting. “It’s kind of a square with a pinwheel design,” he explained. A gazebo-style bandstand sits in the centre of the space, surrounded by benches atop a square pavestone surface. Pathways pinwheel out from the bandstand at the centre through green space and trees to main access points (such as a parking lot, Elmsley St and Beckwith St). The trees that are currently in the space will be protected, and “we’re adding a few more trees into the mix to kind of define space and maybe give some areas for shade,” explained Lashley. There will be benches all around the square, and flower pots. Lights will be incorporated throughout the entire space, around the bandstand and along pathways. Lashley proposed “champagne glass lighting,” modern light posts that “provide beautiful light.”
Councillor Christopher McGuire shared that he would like to see the lighting match the lighting on Beckwith St, “that style would be ideal here.” Councillor Lorraine Allen and Mayor Pankow also voiced this opinion.
Councillor Allen noted that the proposed green space in front of the library would be a perfect place for children’s reading programs all summer long. However, “the square around the bandstand – I think visually and maybe even theatrically, it would look nicer as a circle instead of a square.” Councillor Dwyer agreed that softer lines would add to the attractiveness of the space as a spot for people to gather.
Deputy Mayor Peter McKenna suggested that it would be important to consult with the Accessibility Committee, and Councillor Dwyer noted the Heritage Committee should weigh in as well.
Community Services Director Art Manhire told council that staff will start reaching out to these committees and the community, and take feedback on board before coming back to council with an updated design.