Langford Opens New ‘Cultural Precinct’ Along E&N Rail Line
The initial phase of Langford Station opened along the E&N Rail line on Friday, creating a “cultural precinct” for residents to enjoy artists and food, support up-and-coming businesses, watch live performances or just enjoy a game of chess or have a picnic.
The City of Langford, in partnership with the Island Corridor Foundation, created the area at 720 Station Ave. in downtown Langford. There are six artist studios, six businesses incubators and a community arts workshop — the Creation Station — all housed in custom retrofitted sea cans.
The Langford Station also includes a purpose-built area for up to five food trucks, parking, picnic and chess game tables, a stage area for performances, a permanent washroom building and an off-leash area for dogs.
The site is also enhanced with new trees and streetscape, additional grass seating areas and underground infrastructure. Funding for the project is through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities gas tax fund and two grants.
“To see this significant area of downtown Langford revitalized into a community gathering space celebrating local artists and businesses is really exciting.” said Langford Mayor Stew Young.
“Station Avenue had become very run down over the years, now we have a vibrant cultural district providing the community with a place to explore and connect.”
Young said council is focused on bringing more arts and cultural opportunities to Langford, including a performing arts theatre in the downtown.
Island Corridor Foundation chief executive Larry Stevenson said the foundation is happy to see the precinct “come to life.”
“At its heart, the Island Corridor Foundation is about connecting people, and the Langford Station will be a place that will bring people together,” said Stevenson “One of the goals of the ICF is to promote opportunities for flexible infrastructure that will benefit communities along the corridor and this project is a great example of how our corridor can do that.”
The next phase of the project will include an overhead lighting canopy, murals and sculptures designed by local artists, and interactive lighting elements designed by Limbic Media. The second phase opening date will be announced this summer.
“It’s exciting to see how the community of Langford has created an engaging and accessible public outdoor space that supports local artists and entrepreneurs and serves as a new visitor attraction,” said Island Coastal Economic Trust CEO Brodie Guy.