Bridgewater has long been regarded as the commercial hub of the South Shore owing to the many shops and professional services available in the Town. As the historic heart of Bridgewater’s business district, King Street offers a unique blend of architecture and location well suited to personal/professional services and specialty shops.
Think there isn’t much happening on King Street? Think again and take a look around! Like many other historic downtown areas, King Street is beginning a process of re-birth which attracts entrepreneurs and developers. Recent infrastructure upgrades and waterfront improvements have set the stage for these new opportunities to take form.
In 2012, Town Council commission a study into the potential redevelopment of King Street as a more community focused center. Released in 2013, the Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan (DWMP) is a 100-plus page document designed to guide the economic and social development of Downtown Bridgewater over the next 20 to 30 years.
The first phase of implementing the DWMP began in 2015 with the demolition of the South Parkade. The 45-year-old steel and concrete structure was removed and, during 2016, a major infrastructure project was undertaken in the Old Bridge-to-Dufferin block of King Street.
The project, known as Take Back The Riverbank, included three main components: first, the removal and replacement of existing decades-old water and sewer infrastructure below King Street; second, the reconstruction of the street, including the introduction of better sidewalks, curb bump outs, and street furniture, all designed to make the downtown more pedestrian friendly; and, the construction of Pijinuiskaq Park along the riverbank on the former parkade site. Pijinuiskaq is the historic Mi’kmaq name for the LaHave River.
In 2016, Bridgewater Town Council agreed to grant $51,000 to allow for the creation of the Bridgewater Facade Improvement Society. The Society oversees a Facade Improvement Program, which invites commercial tenants or property owners in the King Street Architectural Control Area to apply for matching funding of up to $5,000 in matching funding for facade improvement projects. The program covers improvements ranging from painting to signage, lighting, and more.
The indicators on this website provide insight into the vitality of King Street, including how investment in the private and public sectors is bringing Bridgewater’s back to life.