This theme is a common concern for many residents of all ages in Ward 4 and all areas in Bradford. Between some easy fixes in road safety and community programs - the other major concern that are preventing residents to "Love where they live" is "there nothing to do or to spend our money here".
Our Teen's and Young Adults have nothing to do: We are expecting a major demographic boom in Bradford as all the children get mature in the next 2-5 years, the teen and young adult demographic will be massive in Bradford. This has many factors that will effect us here. A) They all need places to play, gather and socialize safely and close to where we live. B) We need more working opportunities close to home for these young adults as they enter the part-time work force and starts saving for their needs or saving up for post - secondary education. C) If we don't provide the right mix of entrainment - they become board and will create their own sources of entertainment.
With all the commercial / Industrial building we could be attracting - indoor play parks, trampoline and midway style venues are perfect for birthdays, young adults and corporate team building. We have many communities that would travel to here and we have the demographic to support the success of these types of business.
2. Many adults and family are lacking the patios and dining that would keep more dollars in Bradford and employ more people. Majority of all residents I have been speaking to say we go weekly to Newmarket, Vaughan and Barrie for our dining and entertainment. The lack of variety and lack of hip / modern and classic eateries and cafés are just not here.
3. We have an amazing unique feature - WATER! In our downtown we need to explore the ability to add dining, bars, music and walking paths along the river sides. It would be a massive tourist and local traffic feature that drive revenues to our town and again creates the traditional Bradford legacy with something people will actually sought out for.
In addition to the water we have a large strip of decrepitated and closed down prime real estate along young street. By attracting the right development along this strip we can have lots of spending for surrounding communities to spend here. I'm talking about: • A Real Farmers market
• More Retail
• Riverside Dining and Bars
• Social Marinas
4. There is no outdoor hockey rink and swimming pool. These low cost social and physical activities drive community togetherness and improve the health of our people. We have the infrastructure at the Community Center that we can tap into and the land to do so. It would employ more youth and adults and make it a stronger hub for the families looking to "get outside more". Integrating into our community centre allows this land to have more useable and functional space and could be the centre of Bradford along side the soon to be revitalized downtown.
5. The most cost effective and simple solution is more trails, bike and walking paths. I know many people say we have Scanlon Creek - but majority of parents and residents choose and will ONLY use local paths and trails where they live. So connecting them from all the sub-divisions to the downtown - so athletes, recreation seekers, families and kids can network the town by walking, riding, skating, scootering (motorized or non-motorized) or training.
6. With more private and small businesses that need to open in Bradford to provide these much needed services and outlets - we still need to expand on the programs and lack of availability from our town. More swimming lessons, more kids and youth programs and more private companies to offset the demand as well as expanding the facilities we currently have to provide more access.
7. Lastly we need more retail. Small boutique shops and more retailers are essential to keeping dollars spent in our town. Many residents have needs that are not supported in Bradford. Let me be clear - I'm not suggesting we loose the old-town feel - but we can add these amenities without becoming a cookie cutter style community.
My last thoughts are that its critical we make the downtown of Bradford like other heritage downtowns and not a mishmash of modern digital noise and classic design. We have the luxury of Bradford alongHolland Street to be half a vintage looking town on one side and a more contemporary feel closer to the 400 and maintain the down-to-earth farming community to the north and south.