A sign of the times – Ontario News

A sign of the times – Ontario News

Pat Hehn wants to get shoppers from the box to the boutique.

The Orillia councillor said the opening of Costco later this year means the city needs to kick its wayfinding program into high gear to ensure shoppers to the big-box retailer might venture downtown or to other prominent landmarks such as the Stephen Leacock Museum.

“Right now, there’s a lack of cohesive signs throughout the city,” Hehn said. “Wayfinding; it’s extremely important. We need to have signs that people can look at to direct them to our heritage downtown. If they’re at Costco, let’s get them downtown to see what Orillia has to offer.”

But it’s not just Hehn, who supports that notion.

During a council committee meeting this week, councillors voiced support for turning a city deficit into a positive by moving forward with phase one of a tourism/visitor wayfinding signage program.

“If you want to enhance tourism, you need proper wayfinding,” Mayor Steve Clarke said.

During the project’s first phase, the plan calls for creating and installing 25 vehicular signs and messaging that direct tourists/visitors from the highway to specific destinations such as the aforementioned Leacock Museum as well as the Opera House, waterfront and Orillia Museum of Art and History.

Phase two, which would be implemented next year, will focus on creating approximately 10 pedestrian-level signs designed to provide direction for identified primary destinations within a walkable community area along with installing three community map directories to display immediate community information including identified points-of-interest.

The final phase slated to take the stage in 2020 involves…

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