Thursday, August 10, 2017

And the Winner is....Nanaimo, BC

Nanaimo New Development on Waterfront
is People Friendly

Well, Folks...we're at the end of our two week sailing holiday.  Tomorrow, we depart from Nanaimo, BC harbour for our home port in Port Moody, BC, just 45 minutes from Vancouver.  I have to say that the City of Nanaimo takes the award for the best stop and moorage of our two week sail.  We hadn't sailed here for at least 25 years, since our boys were small and boy, has it changed! And, for the better.  The good folk of Nanaimo snatched their precious waterfront from the talons of the greedy developers...who usually win every tug of war in every city in North America...and have transformed the waterfront completely.  It is now a people-friendly seawall walk through tourist souvenir shop and restaurant areas, park areas, Sea plane and ferry landings and even a fishing pier and a man made tidal beach that is swimmable.

The above sounds like I am a flunkie for the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce...but I am not.  I just see here a template that can be borrowed by almost every ocean-front community in BC and elsewhere.  And tourism seems to be flourishing in Nanaimo...."Build it...and they will come".  As an example, Port Moody, BC where we have our boat moored is planning a huge waterfront development with high rises and high density housing to be built over the next few decades.  I doubt that Port Moody has the vision...or the strong community-minded City Hall that Nanaimo obviously has to realize the transformation here on the waterfront.

But, as we walked to a restaurant just two blocks away from the waterfront last night, we saw clues to the cost to the community of the newly refurbished waterfront.  Homeless and/or distressed individuals approached us for handouts, nearly always aboriginal in appearance.  Nanaimo has a large First Nations population and this segment of the community has always stayed at the lower end of the economic scale.  One thing I forgot to mention, there is a very high police presence on the waterfront.  A badass inflatable police boat with a huge officer toting a gun on his belt was roaring around the harbor as we came in.  I smiled to myself as I imagined his gun going off by accident and ripping a hole in the huge dingy...badass no more : ).  Also, police on bicycles patrol the seawall constantly.  This was reassuring, at night particularly.

So in a few moments, we release the mooring lines and we're off!

Children's sculpture in Nanaimo 
Waterfront Park
"Hungry Bunny"- a commentary on
the feral Rabbit Problem in urban areas

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