5 Things We'd Like to See in Downtown Milton

Downtown Milton is so charming.

It boasts small-town loveliness at its finest; there’s an array of new businesses taking shape.

But food aside, there are some elements still missing.

We're currently dreaming about what/how Main St. and the surrounding area could become something truly spectacular.

(Perhaps we're a tad biased, but we truly think it's a remarkable area worth bragging about).

The population is changing, and growing, quickly. Plus there’s a slew of entrepreneurs in town.

Let’s brainstorm together, shall we?

5. New festivals. Lots of festivals.

The Holiday Street Market was a solid start. If you want to attract a crowd, throw a big street party and have cool things .. things we've never seen before (as in, not another RibFest). Find out what younger people are interested in, and who they're into. Ask for names. Finding ways to keep 30-somethings in town will up Milton’s street cred instantly. Plus, younger people won't be forced to trek to Toronto for nightlife ... and their Uber bills will be significantly cheaper. I'm a huge proponent of spending your money closer to home. Burlington has awesome festivals. Why can't downtown Milton?

4. A speakeasy.

If you want cool people to come, there must be booze. And if Port Credit's Door 55 has a speakeasy ... where all the fit, beautiful people hang out along Mississauga's stretch of Lakeshore Rd., why can't we? We're thinking a dimly lit lounge with cocktails - with an impressive array of bourbon and dark-hued hard liquor - plus a clever pour list detailing libations right down to its unconventional garnish. Pretentious? Perhaps. But speakeasies are a thing. And the only thing better than a speakeasy is a speakeasy with a place to dance above or beside it (in other words, a speakeasy with a secret lair filled with loud music, velvet furniture, and dark curtains for privacy, or VIP bottle service booths. We're channeling The Good Son/Wayward on Queen St. W.). Don't you want to get your drink on, Prohibition-style?

3. A place to drink and play board games.

Speaking of booze, if you're in Toronto and have a hankering for beverages and Cards Against Humanity expansion packs, you can visit Snakes and Lattes and get a tasty vanilla soy latte or a Muskoka Mad Tom IPA ... but we want to stay in Milton for the night. While Mississauga has a board game spot in Studio 89 (and it's waaay closer than TO), we'd love to see a cafe/bar that offers a sizeable and varied game selection. I'm not personally that into board games, but I have a few favourites and games are almost always better when accompanied by cocktails. A walkable area, such as Main St., would be perfect for a Scattegories and beer hotspot.

2. A big town square.

Mississauga has Celebration Square at City Hall. It’s where all the major festivals are held. It’s right outside of City Hall and the Central Library, across from Square One. It’s the heart of the city. But it’s also an excellent place to eat lunch outside with a book, spread a blanket and take work on your tan, and toss a football with your boys during a study break. Burlington’s City Hall on Brant St. holds an open air Fit in the Core: Yoga in the Street event each summer, which attracts tons of people and keeps them around to fuel up at local restaurants afterward. Ottawa’s City Hall has Marion Dewar Plaza out front, which hosts festivals and low-key events. Milton’s new Town Hall, which used to be a jail, is modern and stunning. it should be complemented by an outdoor square.

1. Year-round St. Lawrence Market of sorts

One thing readers have always expressed interest in is a permanent boutique food outlet in the vein of Toronto's popular St. Lawrence Market. Halton has always responded well to farmers' markets, so a spacious and airy shop that proffers homegrown produce, artisanal cheese, fine meats and delectable coffee all year would satisfy people who treat grocery shopping as an experience that benefits local producers and fosters a sense of community. Since the area is filled with dog-walkers, cyclists, and healthy, active homeowners who choose to walk to shop and eat, the market would no doubt appeal to local residents. It would also offer some unique, mid-level priced goods that might not be on offer at other nearby grocers.

What would you like to see in downtown Milton?

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