News Release, Portfolio

Downtown Oakville BIA media kit

Oakville Business Improvement Association

News Release

June 1, 2018



Summer marketplace heats up downtown Oakville

Drinks and eats, in the streets

OAKVILLE, ON – On Friday June 1st, 2018, downtown Oakville closed Lakeshore Drive to traffic and extended its hours to welcome shoppers to the Marketplace in the City.

“In the past three years, downtown Oakville has experienced a 20 per cent decline in foot traffic.  We’ve come up with a great solution to bring people back to enjoy the downtown again,” says Joanna MacDonald, President of the Oakville BIA and owner of Kitty in the City.

Lakeshore Drive between Navy Street and Trafalgar Road is closed to cars on Friday and Saturday evenings, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Pedestrians can explore the unique shops and restaurants in the neighbourhood on foot.  Tables and chairs are set up on the street in front of restaurants, so customers can dine “al fresco.”  The town square is transformed into a farmers’ and crafters’ market featuring locally- grown food and crafts and local musicians perform on the stage in the square each week.

“Bringing people back to downtown Oakville is essential to the health of our businesses and the development of this community,” says MacDonald.  “My hope is that this marketplace inspires people to shop locally and support small businesses in Oakville.”



Heather Bodajla

Media Relations Manager


Speech to Oakville city council to ask for money to support downtown marketplace initiative

Good evening everyone.  I’m Joanna MacDonald, owner of Kitty in the City, here in beautiful downtown Oakville.

As a local business owner, and president of the Oakville Business Improvement Association, I’ve experienced an alarming 10 per cent drop in sales year over year.  I don’t know about my fellow professionals, but I can’t continue to stay open if this is the trend.

The Oakville BIA has decided to do something about it.  We’re opening the doors of restaurants and businesses to celebrate our vibrant community and encourage citizens to visit and shop local.  It’s called the Marketplace in the City.  I’m here to ask for your support for this initiative to revitalize businesses in downtown Oakville.  We are asking for a grant of $10,000.

I think one of the biggest problems is that stores are only open until 6 p.m. in this area.  If we extend store hours to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, it gives patrons time to get home from work and make their way to Lakeshore for dinner and some shopping.

It is essential to block off Lakeshore Drive between Navy Street and Trafalgar Road to cars, so people can walk around safely.  Plus, this gives the opportunity for local restaurants to set up outdoor seating on portions of the sidewalk and street.  Customers will be able to eat “al fresco” while people-watching from their tables.  Picture the look and feel of a European piazza, but in downtown Oakville.

We’re going to transform the town square into an outdoor farmers’ and crafters’ marketplace.  Twenty-five vendors will sell locally-grown food, locally-created crafts, jewelry, soap and art.  Each week, a musician will perform on the stage in the square.  Our first week will have international singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer from Oakville.

Believe me when I say, we are going to bring energy back to downtown Oakville.

We are asking the council for a $10,000 grant to cover some advertising, permits to close the street, signage and equipment rentals.

As you can see, we have put together a great selection of exciting experiences that will attract a diverse group of visitors to our downtown core.  With all of this momentum, I’m sure our local businesses will have no problem convincing people to shop local and make a weekly visit part of their routines.

Photo by Mauru00edcio Mascaro on