Giving New Life to Old Spaces
Downtown Newmarket has sure changed a lot over the years. What was once a Quaker settlement and trading post is now a bustling, trendy downtown with amazing restaurants and retail shops. The entrepreneurs who have invested in downtown Newmarket have made it into that first choice dining option for so many people. The downtown Newmarket of today is a historical restaurant district that puts one in mind of the distillery district with old brickwork and delicious treats. Whether you are looking for a world-class burger or a fresh local pint, downtown Newmarket certainly has it covered.
Restaurant owners such as Boris Fong, have taken a shine to downtown Newmarket - so much so that Boris has open not one, not two but THREE restaurants within a stones throw of one another. Fong started his career as a line cook at the age of 16 in an east end bowling alley. His restaurants, Hungry Brew Hops, Lil Brew Hops and Hop Bop Noodle Shop (apparently named by his very creative wife!) each serve up something a little different but equally delicious.
Many other things have come together to create this vibe in the downtown core including investment and dedication by former councils who saw the benefit of creating outdoor, public play and meeting space at Riverwalk Commons and the vision of local historians, committees and staff persons who were able to see a way forward for this part of town while still celebrating the historic attributes of this former trading community.
The Financial Incentive Program, has also been a major aspect of the re-invigorating of the downtown core. This program provides matching funding (up to certain caps) to businesses and/or building owners to improve or restore their building’s facade and interior structural attributes. The program sees a private to public investment ratio of over 3:1. It provides a small amount of funding that allows business owners, entrepreneurs and landlords to invest in the downtown and keep the historic charm alive and well. Many of the local businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to access these funds which has allowed them to improve their buildings and facades.
The program accepts applicants all year long and is available for any businesses or building owners in the Community Improvement Plan Area (Main St., from Water to Davis and along Davis between Niagara and Charles). For more information please click the button below.