Nanaimo waterfront park plan expected this summer

NANAIMO – The Maffeo Sutton master plan is anticipated to be released this August.

An updated vision for Nanaimo’s premier waterfront park could be presented this summer.

The Maffeo Sutton Park master plan is anticipated to be released in August, with goals to create more access points to the water, expand the beach and add a new playground.

The Maffeo Sutton Park master plan was first created in 2008, but the city went back to the drawing board three years later, after it added 0.9 hectares of land originally slated for condos. A Hilton hotel  is proposed for the waterfront, as well as potential redevelopment of the Howard Johnson. Snuneymuxw First Nation also owns land on the corner of Cliff Street and Comox Road.

Citizens weighed in on concepts for the park last year, sharing some ideas of their own, including a skate park, an off-leash dog park, more art and a canoe and kayak launch, according to the city website.

Kirsty MacDonald, the city’s parks and open space planner, said themes were pretty consistent as far as washrooms, access to water, increased access to the shore and more event space. She said the flexible plan will outline a vision for the park, different maintenance and policy to guide the park for the next 20 years.