There is a new energy in downtown Truro these days.
It is particularly noticeable along Prince and Inglis streets where a new-to-Truro concept is being embraced.
It has been little more than two years since the first restaurant patio was constructed on Prince Street at the Split Crow. At the time naysayers were concerned about the loss of parking along the one-way, popular street. That first patio project set the stage for others that have been a welcome sight bringing a new life to our historic town.
Outdoor patios are not a new business concept. In Halifax there have been restaurant patios for years. It is difficult to pinpoint why the concept is just blossoming here.
Patios are inviting. On sunny days people want to take every opportunity to soak in the sun and this is catering to those desires. It is also a feast for the senses, by opening the doors and windows people can smell the fare, see it being served, pause and say â€˜helloâ€™ to an acquaintance dining en plein air, hear the chatter of happy people enjoying a meal.
Visitors who see a deck filled with patrons will realize there is a lively community waiting to be explored.
We applaud the efforts of businesses like Jimollyâ€™s Bakery CafÃ© on Inglis Street and the newest deck owners, the Nook and Cranny on Prince Street, for taking a chance and trying something new to boost business.
However, as more decks are constructed, there is the real and present problem of a reduced number of parking spaces.
That is not a new concern, particularly in the downtown core. There are a number of lots where parking is free and people are encouraged to walk to their destination. Parking will continue to be an issue as the town grows in business strength and population. It may be time to take another page out of metroâ€™s economic development book and consider multi-level parking garages to add additional spaces.
In the meantime, walking an extra block to enjoy shopping or dining at our unique local stores and boutiques is well worth the effort.