Warwick looks at options to improve downtown Watford


Warwick Township may take an in-depth look at ways to improve Watford’s downtown.
Vicki Luke, an agriculture and rural economic development advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, recently talked to councillors about a Downtown Revitalization Program.
Luke says the ministry helps small communities take a look at what they have available in the community, what the members of the community need and what opportunities are available to build a plan to help bring the downtown back to life.
Luke says typically when people think of improving the downtown of a community, they think of physical improvements “but that’s just one piece.”
Luke says it is important for the municipality to put together a group from both public and private sectors to first spend several months studying the community and then to come up with a plan.
She added OMAFRA works closely with the group and recommends a local coordinator be hired. “There are manuals for the community to work from, including surveys of people and different groups… so you have the information to make your own decisions.”
Information such as how many restaurants does the community need or what services would be helpful.
“Once you have your information, you develop goals and action plans,” Luke says “What do you want people to think of when you think of this municipality?”
Luke says implementing the plan takes a lot of time. The ministry does have grants available to help rural communities improve their downtown.
Warwick councillors will consider the idea at a future council meeting.


  1. Thank you so much for this. Warwick Township is terrific. At Arts Council of East Lambton, we believe that this community has so many talents to share, that collaborative projects can make this community a place where people will stop for awhile and explore. Come and see us at The Art Shop. People stop here because they are curious.

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