When I visit Tom Davies Square, I find myself using the side entrance off Brady St. rather than walking across the courtyard to use the front doors.
This is ironic because the courtyard outside city hall has some attractive features, and it was designed to be a people place, like Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto or even St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
With very few exceptions, the square outside of Tom Davies is a dead zone. It’s uninviting.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Groups planning special events should consider using this public space more often, and the city should encourage it.
Installing some park benches would be a good place to start. There could be a competition for some public art. It would be very pleasant if people could buy a cup of coffee or cold drink at an outdoor kiosk. This could be run by a service group as a fundraiser during the warmer months.
Perhaps the city’s horticultural group could assist in making this area more park-like by adding some potted plants and greenery.
The city’s leisure services department could plan Friday lunch-hour concerts featuring some of the many talented musicians and singers who live in the city. Or the city could assign the job to the Sudbury Arts Council and give it some funding to arrange for special arts events in the square. Our poet laureate could host poetry readings. (Art on the Square sounds good to me.)
Let’s get really radical, and close Minto St. between Larch and Brady during the summer months, so citizens can enjoy the Memorial Park and the square. (This area is next door to the police station, so we shouldn’t have to worry about “undesirables” hanging around.)
If we can’t use our square better, someone will get a bright idea about using it as parking lot.
Sudbury has a vibrant, exciting, talented arts community which reflects our multicultural personality. But visitors and newcomers to the community would have a hard time to find it. Let’s show it off…and what better place to do it than Tom Davies Square.
(This entry is from the Editor’s column in the Summer 2010 issue on sale now.)