New 4th Street Parklet Expands Public Space in Downtown Courtenay

August 19, 2022

Downtown Courtenay – already one of Vancouver Island’s most vibrant local shopping districts – now has a new gathering spot, with the completion of a multifunctional and adaptable “parklet” on 4th Street next to the Courtenay & District Museum.

The project was made possible thanks to $45,320 in grant funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) and Tourism Vancouver Island.

This new outdoor area can host a range of activities and events, including farmer and artisan markets, surrounded by attractive post-and-beam modular seating spaces. Large heritage photo panels that used to adorn 5th and England have been repurposed at this new location.

The new parklet at 243 4th Street is a short distance away from the Native Sons Hall, Sid Williams Theatre, Florence Filberg Centre, and other cultural and community facilities, as well as many locally-owned downtown shops, restaurants, businesses, plus parks, trails, and the Puntledge and Courtenay rivers.

Those interested in booking the space for events should contact Courtenay Recreation at the Lewis Centre, 250-338-5371 or the Florence Filberg Centre, 250-338-1000.

The parklet was built using innovative and sustainable elements including four shaded seating cubes and a wheelchair accessible picnic table.  Site furnishings and planters are constructed utilizing recycled waste plastic and metals. As the Courtenay & District Historical Society holds a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Courtenay for proposed museum expansion at this location in the future, the parklet materials could be dismantled and repurposed elsewhere if needs change.

Creating new spaces that attract community members and visitors into the downtown areas is at the core of why the Island Coastal Economic Trust created the Community Placemaking program. “This multi-use outdoor public space will provide a central space to gather and learn more about Courtenay’s rich history while visiting local businesses,” said Island Coastal Economic Trust Board Chair Aaron Stone. “The 4th Street Parklet is a great example of a collaborative, concept-driven project that will help drive vitality into the downtown core.”

The 4th Street Parklet was inspired by the Downtown Courtenay Playbook adopted in 2016 following consultation with the public, businesses, and other community partners. Feedback gathered through this process identified a need for more public open spaces in the downtown core.

Kyle Shaw, the City of Courtenay’s director of public works services, said the City has been working closely with the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association (DCBIA) on various beautification projects and other initiatives to support the local economy. “We were really excited when ICET launched this funding opportunity for downtown business areas, and the DCBIA has been a great champion for the 4th Street Parklet project,” said Shaw. “The new plaza turns this vacant property into a community asset, adding to the unique character and vibrancy of 4th Street.”  

For more information about the 4th Street Parklet, visit our parklets page.