Nearly 2,000 people responded to a City of Nanaimo survey about the waterfront walkway. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Departure Bay beach to ferry terminal ranked as top priority in walkway survey

City of Nanaimo releases survey results, public feedback on Nanaimo’s waterfront walkway

The City of Nanaimo should nail down a waterfront walkway from Departure Bay beach to the ferry terminal first, according to respondents of a city survey.

Nearly 2,000 people responded to a survey about the Nanaimo waterfront walkway, with overwhelming support to build a continuous trail and a theme for the city to avoid delays and get working on it right away.

Thirty-one per cent believe first on the ‘to do’ list should be to develop the walkway from the ferry terminal to Departure Bay, a span that includes some of the project’s most complex challenges with riparian, archaeological, geotechnical and environmental considerations, a city story map shows. Twenty-two per cent want to see trail developed or upgraded from B.C. Ferries terminal to the Millstone River and 16 per cent, the walkway from the south downtown waterfront to the Nanaimo River estuary.

Eighty-nine per cent of respondents want to see new sections of the walkway built before existing ones are upgraded, and of trail connections that could be done next year, 25 per cent of respondents want an alternate alignment around the Nanaimo Shipyard.

The trail can’t go through the shipyard until it redevelops and it’s uncertain as to when that will happen, said city real estate manager Bill Corsan, adding the proposal is a workaround that’s inexpensive, provides better signage and makes it a little safer for people to use. A potential walkway section referred to as Northfield Creek – from the ferry terminal to Beach Estates Park – had 24 per cent support, followed by sections called Asia Pacific Yacht Club, 1 Port Dr. and the boat basin.

“[The survey] gives us an idea of how people are using the walkway as it stands, it gives us a good sense of people’s priorities, which is important and we will be able to use that as we get into more of the design work,” Corsan said.

The city has hired consultant Urban Systems to build an implementation plan for a continuous 13-kilometre walkway from Departure Bay to the Nanaimo estuary and come up with designs for five sections of trail that could be done next year. The public process has involved the survey and open houses, attended by approximately 750 people last month.

Corsan calls a plan a fundamental first step and said until now it has been unclear as to where the city should start.

“When you are building a plan like this with this much community feedback we really do have a plan that kind of reflects people’s priorities, the community’s priorities, and it’s going to be tempered with some reality in terms of the challenges and costs,” he said.

An invite-only design workshop happens June 22. The general public can see the results of the exercise and speak with participants the same day from 5-7 p.m. at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. To see the survey, which includes comments from the open houses, visit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shopping resumes aboard Nanaimo ferry sailings

B.C. Ferries reopens gift shops on Queen of Cowichan and Queen of Oak Bay

City of Nanaimo reports on its salaries, expenses and payments

Municipality files statement of financial information with B.C. government

City of Nanaimo challenges families to Instagram their park explorations

ParkIt challenge set up to offer prizes to cap off days at the park

Nanaimo RCMP want speeding motorists to ‘slow the blazes down’

Police raise alarm after seeing 400-per cent rise in excessive speeding tickets last month

Top central Vancouver Island health official retires

Island Health says Dr. Paul Hasselback’s replacement to be named shortly

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Most Read