Sidney’s Beacon Avenue on the Great Streets list

The street was nominated as one of Canada’s Great Places in a contest run by the Canadian Institute of Planners

The east end of Beacon Avenue in Sidney.

Is Sidney’s Beacon Avenue one of the great streets in Canada?

Mayor Larry Cross thinks so and is pleased the street was nominated as one of Canada’s Great Places in a contest run by the Canadian Institute of Planners.

The online contest is asking people to nominate which public place, neighbourhood and street they think is a great spot. People can nominate great places at www.cip-icu.ca/greatplaces/en/ until Sept. 2. Voting continues until Sept. 23 and prizes are on offer.

Sidney’s Beacon Avenue is up against some tough competition, such as Montreal’s Saint Catherine Street, Winnipeg’s Portage and Main, Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue and even the Malahat Drive and viewpoint. To date, Beacon Avenue has garnered 28 votes — in last place and well behind the 1,283 votes for Lacombe, Alberta’s historic Main Street. In 2012, Queen Street in Fredricton, NB received the most votes.

“We’re up there with the big boys,” Cross said, adding he didn’t realize the local street had been nominated.

Beacon Avenue has been the subject of debate recently, with some business owners calling for it to be made into a full two-way street. The route currently has a one-way section. Traffic flow issues aside, Cross said the character of Beacon Avenue won’t change as a result.

“We want to maintain the feel of a small town atmosphere and keep that pedestrian-friendly feel,” he said. “This does make our town a very special place.”