A wayfinding sign at one end of the Bastion Street bridge in Nanaimo. The city will spend $100,000 on additional wayfinding signs throughout the downtown. (NEWS BULLETIN photo)

Nanaimo councillors endorse a slate of downtown improvement projects

Finance committee gives go-ahead on everything except laser lights for Diana Krall Plaza

Nanaimo city councillors want staff to go ahead with a list of projects intended to improve or beautify the downtown.

At a special finance and audit committee meeting Monday, councillors recommended the city spend $220,000 toward completing a list of more than 20 projects. The projects total more than $1.1 million, but most fit into the city’s already-approved financial plan. The extra $220,000 will come out of the city’s strategic infrastructure reserve.

A city report notes that staff met with “representatives from the Old City Quarter and Victoria Crescent” in identifying projects meant to assist in beautification and public safety.

“These are all short-term projects that we’re really looking at doing between now and next summer,” said Bill Corsan, the city’s director of community development, adding that staff will also be working on a report on potential medium- and long-term projects.

The highest-ticket item on the list presented this week is an accessible playground at Maffeo Sutton Park for $505,000, with community partners contributing $113,000 of that cost.

Among new expenditures, the highest cost is $100,000 for wayfinding signs directing residents and visitors to different areas of the downtown. The finance committee also recommended $25,000 for new lighting at the Great National Land Building on Church Street, $20,000 for VIU students to lead redevelopment planning for Diana Krall Plaza, and $15,000 for landscaping and other “public realm improvements” on Wesley Street. The city also plans to spend $10,000 on a 1.5-metre 3D sign reading ‘Nanaimo.’

“The idea would be to create a Nanaimo sign that we could have down on the waterfront. It would be moveable so we could have it in the downtown core maybe for a night market or other event,” Corsan said. “From a tourism perspective [it will] kind of help brand Nanaimo and give it a positive Instagram selfie look.”

Coun. Tyler Brown said the idea was interesting but said a “far more interesting” opportunity would be possibly using Hul’qumi’num in the signage.

“I just think that language revitalization is such an important part of culture and in particular in an age of reconciliation, I think it could be a neat opportunity and a neat twist on something that’s been done elsewhere,” he said.

story continues below

Other downtown improvement projects approved include design work for Tideline Park on Albert Street, support for a mural program, construction-site-style hoarding around the Hilton excavation on Front Street, increased street sweeping and power washing, temporary traffic calming on Fitzwilliam Street, expansion of termporary public art locations, improved lighting at parking lots on Selby Street, crosswalk improvements, and re-painting of street lights.

The only project councillors rejected from the list was decorative lighting and lasers in Diana Krall Plaza. Coun. Don Bonner wasn’t too “chuffed” about the idea and councillors Brown, Ben Geselbracht and others agreed.

“I definitely think lasers are cool, however, potentially unnecessary,” said Geselbracht.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo council won’t OK Front Street bike lanes right now


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Council’s special-interest projects boosting property taxes too high

City council should keep in mind its core services when budgeting, says letter writer

Colour and culture being painted onto plaza stairs in downtown Nanaimo

City commissions Humanity in Art muralists for ‘artistic intervention’ project

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

Nanaimo’s newest skatepark now open for use in Harewood

Harewood Centennial Park amenity opens on schedule

Column: Sustainable society based on foundational services

Services tied to local populations puts sustainability above growth, says columnist

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Most Read