The health and well-being of downtown Truro is a subject near and dear to the hearts of many Colchester County residents.
No community-minded individual, after all, wants to see the downtown infested with empty buildings and devoid of shopping options.
There certainly have been setbacks over the years with some businesses closing and others opting to move elsewhere, most recently the post office on Prince Street.
But there are success stories, too. One of them being the new-look Truro Farmers’ Market, which has soared to new heights in popularity since moving to the old fire station on Young Street.
This was one of those empty buildings in need of a reinvention. Something that would justify the estimated $500,000 needed to make it habitable once again. It was, after all, built in 1899.
Around the same time, market officials, who were operating at an outdoor site between Havelock and Outram streets, were contemplating a move to an indoor-outdoor location.
They looked at plenty of sites, among them the AgriDome in Bible Hill, the Truro Curling Club and the former Princess Margaret Rose school.
But it was the town’s pitch of the old fire station, with its history and downtown location, that most caught their fancy.
After much renovation work and teamwork involving different levels of government, the initial move occurred late in 2011 and very quickly the old fire station became a new destination point.
In 2012, the market’s first full year of operation at the new site, the number of visitors reached a record-setting 55,000. In addition, the
outdoor portion of the market received a boost with the completion of a 40-foot-by-132-foot canopy. Rain? What rain.
More recently, the market announced it was on track to attract an estimated 70,000 visitors for 2013.
That’s excellent news for the market and the increased traffic can’t help but have a positive impact on nearby downtown businesses.
There are other positive developments in the downtown of late – new owner of the former Crowell’s building, construction of an office next to the Immaculate Conception Church, possible resolution of a new library site and early discussions on a housing project on the former Truro junior high school site.
We welcome them all because each of these initiatives trumps empty lots and vacated buildings.