Dundas Place program review
The City is currently collecting feedback about programming on Dundas Place. Please review the Dundas Place 2021 animation and activation report below, then share your experience of last year’s activities and events, and tell us what programming you would like to see on Dundas Place this year.
An accessible version of the report is available below.
Dundas Place 2021 animation and activation report
Dundas Place overview
Dundas Place is a destination for shopping, dining, art, and celebration. From Wellington to Ridout Streets, Dundas Place is a flexible street shared by pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. With extra wide sidewalks and no curbs, parking spaces can easily transform into patios, be used for sidewalk sales, or for street performances
How we got here
Transforming Dundas Street into Dundas Place was identified as a key Transformational Project in London's Downtown Plan (2015). Construction began in 2018 and ended in December 2019. The construction project also included storm sewer, sanitary sewer and utility (internet, hydro, water) upgrades.
In the development of Dundas Place, proactive place management and programming were identified as integral to success. In support of this vision, the City of London identified funding and a dedicated staff to ensure Dundas Place is effectively managed and programmed. In early 2020 a full schedule of events was planned for Dundas Place but with the arrival of COVID-19, all programming plans were put on hold.
In early 2021, despite the uncertainty of COVID-19, plans began for filling Dundas Place with a diverse range of small-scale programming, should restrictions allow. An animation and activation plan were created and shared with City Council in the May 18, 2021 Core Area Action Plan Implementation Status Update. You can review this plan by clicking here. As the summer arrived, restrictions began to shift, and small-scale outdoor activities were permitted with appropriate COVID-19 safety measures in place.
A team of staff was hired, equipment was moved into the recently completed Dundas Place Field House and programming began in July.
From July to October 2021, Dundas Place hosted 249 activations working with over 20 community partners.
These activations included:
- 125 Music Performances
- 64 Arts Activities
- 37 Special Events
- 20 Recreation Activities
- 3 Street Markets
Over the 4-month period, an estimated 20,000 people attended an event or activation on Dundas Place.
The Dundas Place team had an active COVID-19 safety plan and worked closely with the Middlesex-London Health Unit to confirm appropriate precautions were being followed.
During activations, signage was in place to encourage social distancing, washing hands, mask wearing, and getting vaccinated. Seating was placed six feet apart and hand sanitization stations were installed with all activations.
Dundas Place also partnered with the Middlesex-London Health Unit to host multiple mobile vaccination clinics.
The London Arts Council and the London Ontario Jazz Hub programmed over 80 musical acts between July and October. Performances took place at Library Terrace, the Dundas Street and Clarence Street intersection, and in Market Lane during the evenings from Wednesday to Saturday as well as the afternoons on Saturday and Sunday.
The London Arts Council, 519 School of Hip Hop, Forest City Film Fest, Latin Passion Dance Academy, IAOVA, The Arts Project, AlvegoRoot Theatre, and Good Sport shared a diverse range of artistic programming on Dundas Place. This included mural painting, dance lessons and performance, film screenings, painting classes, writing classes, pop-up art sales, comedy, mime, and other types of art.
Dundas Place worked with Budweiser Gardens, Downtown London, local businesses, Pride London Festival, Sunfest, London Food Truck Association, and the Middlesex-London Health Unit to host a series of events and activities on Dundas Place.
Working with City of London Recreation staff, Dundas Place hosted programming for kids, as well as health and wellness classes for adults.
Dundas Place hosted multiple street markets including Vintage on the Block and the Witch's Veil Night Market. Later in the year, working with Downtown London, Dundas Place also hosted the Festival of Markets.
Strategic framework and fundingThe Dundas Place 2021 program of activities was directed through the Dundas Place Management vision and was supported with funding from the Core Area Action Plan and the London Community Recovery Network.
Core Area Action Plan
The Core Area represents the heart of London. It holds the greatest concentration of employment, heritage properties, largest community gathering places, a primary stage for music and entertainment, and the majority of our city’s tourism infrastructure. The health, vitality and resiliency of the Core Area is key to any successful economic development strategy for London and sends an important message to the world about London as a place to live and do business.
This plan included direction and funding to invest in Dundas Place, increase range and intensity of programming in the Core, and activate places and spaces with bistro tables and chairs.
London Community Recovery Network
Created on July 21, 2020, the London Community Recovery Network (the Network) was formed to power London’s recovery from COVID-19. The Network brings together leaders from the private sector, non-profit and institutional organizations to undertake community conversations about London’s recovery, and to identify short/long term ideas for action to be considered for implementation by the City of London, other orders of government, and the community at-large.
City Council endorsed and funded the recommendation to support outdoor performances and to make public washrooms on Dundas Place open 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Seating and public washrooms
Dundas Place offered residents and visitors a place to sit and play with flex seating and giant games throughout the summer and fall. These daily set ups played a vital role in making Dundas Place an accessible and fun place for all.
The Dundas Place public washrooms were available 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Providing accessible public washrooms that were consistently open to all ensure a basic dignity to those in need.
Like the flex seating, the Dundas Place public washrooms became more integrated in the routine of people who live, work or visit downtown, creating a more holistic place for all to enjoy.
Public washroom use in 2021:
- July - 1052
- August - 1621
- September - 1912
- October - 1863
The Dundas Place team is proud to offer this essential service to our community.
Marketing and communications
The Dundas Place animation and activation program was promoted with our social media accounts. Every week, the full list of activities was shared with bright beautiful images of people enjoying the street. Our social media accounts saw significant growth in engagement and followers over the course of the summer.
Weekly emails were also sent out with the full schedule to all the businesses on the street and downtown community partners.
In September, we started issuing a printed schedule with the full month's program. The program was delivered to local businesses, distributed to people on the street and brought to the downtown Tourism London Welcome Centre.