Westboro welcome – Metro US

Westboro welcome

Patios were full, stores were packed and the streets were lined Sunday in Westboro Village for the third and final day of Westfest.

While the weekend festival focused on bringing free entertainment to the community from a variety of artists, musicians and performers, it was also a way to show the crowd of over 100,000 what Westboro has to offer.

Westboro store owner Sharon Packman said she believes that it was Westfest that kick-started the neighbourhood’s development.

“Business was so-so before Westfest began (six) years ago,” she said.

Packman opened her clothing boutique Runway in 2000, and said she has seen firsthand what the festival has done for the business community.

“It started as a really great way to get people to come visit Westboro for a day if they had never been before.”

Bill Bourk is the developer behind Westboro Station, the large-scale condominium and retail space buildings going up in three phases on the corner of Golden Avenue and Richmond Road.

“Westboro is just a really appealing place to be — it has that relaxing, secure feeling in the heart of the big city,” said Bourk, whose family has called Westboro home since the 1950s.

“Westfest really shows what type of community we are to the rest of Ottawa,” he said, referring to the fact that the festival is 100 per cent free and depends on volunteers and community members.

“It really gives me the warm and fuzzies to call this place home.”

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