LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Downtown solutions require more than just condo towers

We wonder if it might take more than a downtown high-rise complex to revitalize downtown

To the editor,

Re: Developer hopes for highrise, Dec. 5.

We wonder if it might take more than a downtown high-rise complex to revitalize downtown and have occupants support the area?

Our decision to move downtown was based on the small-town feel of a historic area and the beautiful walkway by the harbour. At least four times per week, for many years, we’d eat at downtown restaurants. Now we do it a couple of times per year. Why the change? We got tired of service without a smile, let alone a thank you, at restaurants. We got tired of the gloomy grey buildings. (How about some colourful paint like many vibrant historic small-towns?)

We don’t see many high-rises (or a huge population) in Qualicum, Chemainus or even Duncan, yet those areas seems more vibrant than Nanaimo. We now often drive to those areas to shop and eat.

When we travel, it’s typically to small and quaint towns and cities around California, Washington, Michigan, and Ontario. It isn’t highrises and huge populations that draw the crowds there; it’s the quaint feeling, the colourful charm of the old historic buildings, cleanliness and good service, that draws both locals and visitors.

Every year my family receives many visitors to Nanaimo. While they see the beauty and potential of the area, they also agree with the above and that it’s a shame Nanaimo tries all these tricks (convention centre, new cruise ship terminal, event-centre vote) to get people downtown when it might be easier to do so with some colourful paint on our historic buildings, appropriate shops, and more clean eating establishments geared toward customer service.

We wonder who, besides the developers, will really benefit if other changes aren’t made?

O’heamhaigh family, Nanaimo

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