Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Nanaimo's Waterfront Changing Forever?

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Will Working Boats Disappear From The Waterfront?

This picture was taken the morning of August 1, 2012 in the inner harbour in downtown Nanaimo, and I think captures part of what makes our waterfront, our waterfront.

In times past the harbour was the heart and soul of this community and gave rise to our identity as the 'Hub' city as our harbour and central location made us the hub of Vancouver Island. Seeing tug boats, salvage boats, fish boats, ferries and barges are all part of Nanaimo's ID and while I realize that times are always changing, I have to wonder if loosing the sight of the working fleet tied up downtown will detract from the character of our harbour and waterfront which we all appreciate.

The Port Authority has seen fit to lease the harbour to a private company who would like to renovate the docks and turn it into a more up to date marina, which they believe will attract boaters unable to find suitable moorage elesewhere. It is unlikely, that a working fleet would have any place at such an upscale facility, which begs the question, will it really be an improvement in Nanaimo?

Will We Have Paved Paradise And Put Up Parking Lots?

Nanaimo has seen a lot of changes in this past decade and in reflection you have to wonder how many have been for the better? There seems to be this idea that if we just keep getting bigger we will naturally just get better, but I think that idea could be challenged. After all, people chose Nanaimo over Vancouver and over Victoria for a variety of reasons, so why are we in such a hurry to try and look like either one of them?

The downtown inner harbour is one example, the flavour the commercial fleet brings to the docks downtown is part of the fabric that makes Nanaimo, Nanaimo; why do we want it to look like someplace else where high end luxury yachts replace a working fleet? Will the change add or detract from downtown Nanaimo ..... will anyone have noticed?


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