Business Association comes up with a way to cover up empty store fronts in the downtown core.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 30th, 2019



Looking into an empty store front doesn’t do much when you talk about a vibrant downtown – doesn’t help when the location is opposite city hall.

The Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) has launched an expanded version of its efforts to “Celebrate Downtown” by covering up the windows with large cartoon type posters in the windows at two downtown properties.

Window 1

Not even a hint of a high rise in this illustration.

Brian Dean 2 long

Brian Dean, Executive Director, BDBA,

Created in partnership with commercial property owners, this program acts to minimize the negative visual impact of a vacant commercial property’s windows. “We are taking advantage of an opportunity to create a visual that is repeated throughout the downtown. One that re-enforces the Burlington Downtown brand with core messages of fun experiences, a place of independent businesses and being the epicenter of our community’s lifestyle and culture”, said Brian Dean, Executive Director, BDBA, “Burlington Downtown is in a very advantageous position. We are an enviable business location in Burlington and boast a low vacancy rate.

This campaign’s positive momentum reminds locals, tourists and Downtown patrons of our unique sense of place.”

Window 2

Opposite city steps north of Kellys Bake Shop

“The campaign calms the clutter and darkness by adding brightness, vitality and energy as well as delivering a simplified and cohesive visual message.” states Barry Imber, principal at Insite Design.
Imber has in the past done some excellent art installations around the city.

There are three installations at the ground floor of several high profile properties Downtown: the two bay windows at 447 Brant Street and the former Elizabeth Interiors property at 409 Brant Street at James.

“The campaign vividly illustrates the familiar places and spaces in our Downtown business community,” says Mark Eade, BDBA Board Chair, “all the while working to remind potential customers about the value of our Downtown to the greater community’s quality of life. We believe we have captured that message and encourage Burlingtonians to come down to explore.”

Window 3The BDBA expects to expand the program into 2019 and will partner with Downtown commercial property owners on a cost-share basis.

The Burlington Downtown Business Association is a not-for-profit organization representing over 435 commercial property owners and businesses within the Business Improvement Area.

Burlington Downtown enjoys a commercial vacancy rate of less that 5.5%.

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4 comments to Business Association comes up with a way to cover up empty store fronts in the downtown core.

  • Stephen White

    Instead of festooning windows with silly cartoons that are only slightly better than graffiti why not permit local artists to display their works in the windows? It may not be the perfect venue, but at least it would provide them with a way of promoting their art, and would be more visually appealing than what is now in place.

    These cartoons are both childish and juvenile, and convey the impression the downtown is a dead loss. I would have hoped the BDBA could have exercised a little more creativity and originality. Alas.

  • Roger

    Gave up on downtown long ago – no parking

  • Bob

    Lots of luck with the vacancy rates with the up-coming and what appears to be, an endless construction blitz of Condo Towers.

  • Connie Price

    Think this is a brilliant idea! Good for the BIA.pp