La Cañada Flintridge civic and business leaders have made it clear that they want a more walkable shopping district, which is something of a challenge when your commercial zone is in truth a single bustling boulevard.

But it appears that a key step toward that goal will be reached in the coming months with a revamp of the La Cañada Flintridge Town Center, the four-year-old shopping center at the busiest intersection in the city.

This week city officials approved new, larger signs for the center, but more importantly, Town Center owners IDS Properties unveiled plans for a courtyard fountain and gathering area — the missing link in the center — as well as other people-pleasing accents.

Town Center tenants include a gym and several restaurants that draw guests for stays of an hour or more. These businesses and other shops would benefit greatly from offering a spot for families and guests to gather, or to just take it easy in the leisurely, pressure-free way the community seems to cherish.

La Cañada is not looking for the dazzle of the Americana at Brand or the density of Old Pasadena. It seeks something more akin to the Montrose Shopping District, a commercial row where people can dawdle and window-shop without concern about getting run over or becoming saturated with commercial messages.

The Town Center and Olberz Park — the open space a few steps away that soon will serve again as host of the Saturday farmers' market — can play a big role in generating a sense of place along Foothill Boulevard.