Harrow Streetscape Project Supports Economic Development
Located within the Town of Essex, the community of Harrow has been transformed into a tourist destination, thanks in-part to investments from the Canada Community-Building Fund.
Essex invested its CCBF contributions into its vision for creating a downtown district in Harrow, known as the Harrow Streetscape Project. The project area included Queen Street from Colio Drive to King Street, King Street from Erie Street North to Walnut Street South, and McAffee Street from King Street to Wellington Street.
Beginning in 2018, the municipality laid out plans for rehabilitating the project area, incorporating its rich history and strong connection to the farming community into its design. Materials and shapes in the design were reminiscent of wood packaging crates, galvanized water troughs, wine barrels, bushel baskets and barn construction.
Once the planning process was complete, construction of the Harrow Streetscape Project began in 2021, and was completed this past fall.
Reconstruction of this area incorporated AODA-compliant sidewalks and crosswalks, new curbing, and urban design upgrades to intersections, gateway entrances and places with accessibility challenges. The Town also made significant aesthetic changes, adding bicycle racks, landscape treatments, plants, trees and new street lighting.
The downtown core is home to many locally-owned businesses, and the improvements will enhance walkability and accessibility to core businesses and restaurants, provide community spaces, promote active transportation, and revitalize the area overall.
The project has given the downtown its own identity, and serves as a tourism attraction tool. The new streetscape design links services and retail opportunities with Harrow’s “story”, told through a cohesive streetscape experience that conveys Harrow’s historic roots and entices visitors to return.