Sunday, August 10, 2014

Italian Fountain Downtown Nanaimo

Centennial Fountain Falling Into Disrepair?

Newcomers to Nanaimo (easterners escaping harsh winters) likely have no idea how important the fountain in front of Port Place Mall  is to those who contributed to its creation and who have lived in Nanaimo all their lives. Some may even wonder why consider spending money on it, since just removing it would be the least costly option.

Nanaimo seems to have a habit of declaring things have come to the end of their lives after a number of years and adopt the attitude that tearing things down and building something new, is the way to go. A few examples in recent memory include the Civic Arena, the old Foundry, Colliery Dam, Morden Mine Tipple, old City Annex  and now perhaps the Centennial (Italian) Fountain.

Why Not Restored As Part of Port Place Mall Reno?

There was a time we were led to believe that the owners of Port Place Mall would be responsible for restoring this historic landmark that sits at the entrance to their mall. The company saw the value of their property greatly increase with recent renovations, and being successful in having the city approve a high rise tower on this property will add significant value to their holdings on this site.

Surely, restoring this historic fountain is not an unreasonable request to be made of the new landlords of Port Place Mall.

In an article in the Bulletin in April 2012 Councillor Diana Johnstone says they (the city) will be working with First Capital to make the needed improvements. Saying First Capital has indicated it wishes the fountain to remain because it was a gift from the Italian community.



  1. LET'S ALL GET ON THE PHONE TO PORT PLACE AND CITY HALL - and push them to fulfill their promise and repair this beautiful, historical landmark to the gateway of our downtown! PHONE.

  2. Eric Ricker, Co-president, Friends of the Morden Mine11 August 2014 at 19:15

    The reference to Morden Mine on the above list (par. 2) is inappropriate. Morden is a provincial -- not a city -- park and it is the duty of the province to maintain it. Unfortunately, it hasn't and has now declared it won't -- despite the fact that Morden is a Class A provincial park and has been since 1972.

    Rather than stand by while this travesty of responsibility-denial unfolds, Nanaimo (including the City and the RDN) is attempting to be part of the solution. How ? Both local governments have stepped up to the plate to provide the bulk of the financing required for an engineering study that BC Parks should be undertaking itself because the study was recommended by its own engineering consultant in the winter of 2013.

    But BC Parks will not even make a modest contribution to this much needed study. Instead, iit has pronounced through a memo sent to a newspaper reporter that Morden as a historic park is no longer of interest and it will seek to divest it to someone else..

    So please be clear about this: it is the province that is thumbing its nose at this rare heritage site and the thousands of miners and their families it was meant to honour, and not the citizens of Nanaimo acting through their local governments, who have chosen to to do what BC Parks refuses to do.

    The study the city, the RDN and the Friends of the Morden Mine are paying for will finally provide us with reliable cost estimates for the repairs that are needed to keep this priceless heritage site intact for future generations to enjoy.

  3. there is nothing wrong with the fountain, demolition work seems to be the only job in nanaimo, they are obssessed with demolition everything that casts a shadow


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