LOOKING GOOD: Waterfront focus of city improvement

NANAIMO – Plans for change are in the works for Nanaimo’s waterfront, considered the city’s busiest park.

A harbour seal swims near the crabbing pier at Maffeo Sutton Park. Plans for changes are in the works for the downtown waterfront

A harbour seal swims near the crabbing pier at Maffeo Sutton Park. Plans for changes are in the works for the downtown waterfront

Gailbird Robinson sat on a lawn chair on the Sway-a-Lana Lagoon beach and watched as her grandchildren splashed in the water.

She’s new to Nanaimo but has already found something to love – the waterfront.

“I don’t think you can put a value on it. It’s priceless,” she said. “When I sit down here, I feel like I love Nanaimo. It’s so peaceful.”

Plans for change are in the works for Nanaimo’s waterfront, considered the city’s busiest park.

Residents are expected to get a glimpse into physical updates considered for the green space this fall when the city releases its updated Maffeo Sutton Park Improvement Plan, including ideas stemming from a proposed Hilton hotel. The city has also signed a letter of intent to partner on the first expansion of the promenade and purchased 10.8-hectares of the south industrial waterfront.

“The biggest thing we did is we actually bought 1 Port Dr. That was a pretty significant commitment to the waterfront right there,” said Bill Corsan, the city’s manager of real estate. “Then I think we’ve been working with the tenants down on the Newcastle Channel on the walkway pieces and we’ve been looking at those park spaces so there’s been a lot going on.”

Waterfront enhancement became a priority two years ago in the city’s strategic plan, which highlighted the potential for an updated park improvement plan and new sections of harbourfront trail.

According to Corsan, the purchase of the south industrial waterfront has redirected the city’s energy.

“Suddenly we have this huge piece of land that we have lots of work to do on as opposed to before that, when the plan was written, the intention was to kind of work on a waterfront trail essentially,” he said. “Now I think it’s just a matter of going back and bringing the two together.”

Corsan said work on establishing a new Departure Bay trail connection would be up to the next council.

On the south downtown waterfront, an environmental analysis has started to look at what areas need to be remediated and there are plans to demolish an old pallet yard on the site in October to help pave the way for redevelopment.

“Obviously like Rome, it can’t be built overnight,” said Mayor John Ruttan. “We are still looking at the pieces and trying to decide just exactly how the pieces fit and how to expand on it.”

Just Posted

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Tilray announces new line of products offering more inexpensive choices for medical cannabis users. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo-based Tilray launches new medical cannabis product line

Symbios brand products offered at ‘better price point’ for medical cannabis products

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

Most Read