PREAMBLE & PHOTOS BY CHRIS TIESSEN
‘CULTURES AND CLIMATES DIFFER ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT PEOPLE ARE THE SAME. THEY’LL GATHER IN PUBLIC IF YOU GIVE THEM A GOOD PLACE TO DO IT.’ – JAN GEHL
A few years back the TOQUE team was invited by Guelph Tourism and Regional Tourism Organization 4 Inc (or RTO4) to help brand Quebec Street – a marvelous one-block strip in the heart of the Royal City that’s packed with stylish boutiques, quaint cafés, fave foodie joints, a tattoo parlour, and even a shoe repair shop. (Don’t sleep on Dimar.)
While we weren’t (and aren’t) strangers to branding sweet businesses, the idea of branding a street piqued our curiosity. What was it all about? Placemaking, as it turned out. And, more specifically, the intentional exercise of creating a ‘micro-tourism destination’ – that is, a destination within a destination – for folks looking to get out and stretch their legs in our region. The theory then was that if we were able to attract people to a particular downtown area, the surrounding areas would also benefit from inevitable ‘spill-over’ exploration. A rising tide lifts all boats, after all.
A few years have passed since TOQUE was involved in this placemaking exercise. And while we can’t tell you how the genial logo we designed for the street was ultimately implemented in the branding process, we can certainly let you know that the Quebec Street strip remains a thriving artery in the heart of the Royal City. Indeed, visitors and locals alike invariably end up here: to enjoy lunch at Miijidaa, or donuts at Lady Glaze, or a good pampering at Acqua, or shopping at Grey Rock Clothing. And they almost always meander into other areas of the downtown core, too, for shopping and eating at other downtown Guelph hot spots.
For this spread, the TOQUE team visited five distinct Quebec Street businesses that represent what Quebec Street is all about. On The Verge. IF.. Footwear. Kennedy Park. Knar Jewelry. And Dimar Shoe Repair.
So enjoy these products laid flat for your perusal. And then swing on by Quebec Street for the full three-dimensional tour. It’s a micro- tourism experience you won’t soon forget. And a manifest illustration of how placemaking is changemaking.
ON THE VERGE
5 QUEBEC ST, DOWNTOWN GUELPH ONTHEVERGE.CA
IF.. FOOTWEAR BOUTIQUE
42 WYNDHAM ST N, DOWNTOWN GUELPH IFFOOTWEAR.COM
35 QUEBEC ST, DOWTOWN GUELPH SHOPKENNEDYPARK.COM
KNAR JEWELLERY GUELPH
56 WYNDHAM ST N, DOWNTOWN GUELPH KNAR.COM
DIMAR SHOE REPAIR
15 QUEBEC ST, DOWTOWN GUELPH DIMARSHOEREPAIR.COM