Recovery Project/Plan

Diggin’ Downtown Huntsville

Submitted ByTown of Huntsville

Abstract 5—words

Downtown, Streetscape, infrastructure, construction, business

Purpose of Project (including anticipated outcomes):

The District of Muskoka scheduled 2021 – 2022 downtown reconstruction as a necessary project to address aging below street level water and sewage infrastructure. The Town of Huntsville used the main street dig as an opportunity to enhance the ‘streetscape’ of the Main Street and Kent Park.

With the project slated to begin in 2021 and many businesses struggling with the impacts of COVID-19, it was essential that a thorough marketing and communications plan was created to assist both downtown businesses and residents with proactive economic recovery during this significant construction project. The Town of Huntsville, District of Muskoka and BIA worked together to jointly disseminate the branded materials and communications for the branded “Diggin’ Downtown” campaign.

Anticipated outcomes of increased marketing and communications were:

Relationship Management Goals

  • Maintain positive relationship between key publics and District of Muskoka, Town of Huntsville and Huntsville BIA

Task Management Goals

  • Increase public awareness of construction
  • Increase public knowledge of access routes to downtown core
  • Increase public knowledge of public parking locations
  • Attract residents and tourists to downtown businesses

Effectiveness / Meeting Objectives:

Effectiveness of plan objectives were continuously monitored and evaluated through tactic KPI’s, surveys and weekly touchpoints with the District of Muskoka and BIA. High level examples include:

Challenges & Changes:

Challenges with weather would delay timelines, therefore the marketing team had to react quickly with edits to marketing and communication material. The website, online media releases and social media tactics allowed the Town and District to pivot marketing communication tactics easily.

Target Audience:

A detailed audience analysis is provided under Key Publics within the attached supporting document #1 – Communications and Marketing Plan on page 13 – 16. Target audiences were identified as:

  • Huntsville residents
  • Downtown Huntsville Businesses and Organizations
  • Huntsville Businesses outside of BIA
  • Muskoka Residents: Year-round and Seasonal
  • Seasonal Residents (non-permanent)
  • Huntsville Tourists (visitors)
  • Huntsville school boards

Recovery Plan Category:

The marketing and communications plan was proactively created to ensure target audiences were aware businesses were still open. In addition to digging up the main street, many businesses were faced with COVID-19 closures and therefore this plan was more urgent than ever.


Sustainable marketing efforts within the plan included:

  • Using an applique sticker on the directional map, so at every stage a sticker would be applied rather than re-printing a large map.
  • When ordering A-frame stands for signage, it was planned in advance that the stands could be re-used for future promotions and events.
  • Print marketing tactics largely focused on driving to the web landing page for up-to-date information so that material would not need to be re-printed/ordered if information changed. The website allowed for quick updates.
  • Used branded social media images and videos to communicate quickly to the public when changes happened