Whistler Olympic Plaza — Canada’s Greatest Place? 

The Canadian Institute of Planners is holding its annual online vote for the nation’s best public space


Is Whistler Olympic Plaza a better public space than the South March Highlands near Ottawa? Better than Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver or the Botanical Beach in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park near Port Renfrew, B.C.?

Is the Plaza the Greatest Place in Canada?

The Canadian Institute of Planners has thrown down the challenge to Canadians to vote for the best public space, neighbourhood and street in the country in its second annual competition.

The Plaza is a late entry to the public space category, having just made the deadline at the end of January; it broke 100 votes on February 3.

It will need the support of dedicated fans to catch up to the frontrunners - South March Highlands already has more than 2,600 votes, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden has more than 2,300, and the Botanical Beach has more than 1,900.

The planning team at the Resort Municipality of Whistler spearheaded the nomination.

The best athletes in the world stepped up to the podium during Victory Ceremonies at Whistler Olympic Plaza during the 2010 Winter Games. The Plaza was also where the Paralympic Closing Ceremony concluded Whistler's role as Host Mountain Resort just two years ago.

Today, the Plaza is a key gathering and activity spot in the resort - this winter hosting a very popular outdoor skating rink. Later this year, it will become the new home to a major public art piece from Susan Pointe. And, of course, there are concerts and other live events.

"Not only is this public space loved by locals, the playground, concert pavilion and outdoor skating rinks at Whistler Olympic Plaza are some of the fantastic additions to the visitor experience in Whistler Village", says Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in a release.

The Forks in Winnipeg took the prize for best public space in 2011.

Voting takes place until Feb. 29, 2012 and will go towards The People's Choice award. The entries will also be judged by a panel of professional planners, with semi-finalists announced in early April and the winners named at the end of April 2012.

Go to GreatPlacesInCanada.com to vote!

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