EDITORIAL: Marina plans strengthen city

Nanaimo’s waterfront and downtown are starting to see the rewards of hard-fought investment over the past decade.

The jewel that is Nanaimo’s harbour is going to get a little polish, thanks to a $9-million private investment by Pacific Northwest Marina Group.

The company plans to make the Boat Basin, which dates back to the 1940s, more functional by adding facilities to dispose of waste and redesigning the layout to increase moorage space.

Improving the feng shui of the waterfront walkway will help the flow of pedestrian traffic, which tends to get jammed during the summer and special events.

A new concrete dock will provide an alternate route around the marina and let tourists and residents alike marvel at the plethora of boats that call on the Harbour City.

The investment itself is good news, but so is what it represents for the economy in the city.

The harbourfront walkway is a destination in Nanaimo, bringing to the downtown core thousands of tourists and residents, who then fan out to other businesses, restaurants and shops.

A multi-million dollar investment by a private firm takes the burden off taxpayers and is exactly the kind of interest the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation should court.

A new and improved marina will also benefit previous investment in Nanaimo’s waterfront, including the cruise ship terminal, which sees thousands of tourists from around the world step on our shores, plus the revitalization of Port Place shopping centre which also sought private investment to overhaul the look and feel of the aging mall.

Nanaimo’s waterfront and downtown are starting to see the rewards of hard-fought investment over the past decade.

Improving on the marina will only further that success, positioning the Harbour City for smooth sailing.