Town expects to release waterfront plans soon

PORT HAWKESBURY: The town is finalizing its waterfront development strategy.

Following a presentation from Terry Smith, CEO of Destination Cape Breton (DCB) at the regular monthly meeting of Port Hawkesbury Town Council on June 1, plans for the town’s waterfront came up.

Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton told council there might be opportunities to work with DCB on ideas for the waterfront, like the development of the marina, or creating a new experience for visitors.

“We’re also in the process of drafting and completing – we hope in the next couple of weeks and months – a waterfront development strategy,” she noted.

Town Councillor Mark MacIver is a member of the town’s waterfront advisory committee.

“Hopefully, maybe we can get together for ideas, that would be great,” he said to Smith.

Following the meeting, the mayor told reporters that the town has a “robust” waterfront advisory committee that wants to see that part of town grow.

The waterfront development strategy takes in all of Granville Street, the North Granville Street Park, and Lower Water Street, where the boardwalk and marina are situated, Chisholm-Beaton noted.

The mayor said their plans will have to take place in phases.

“We have covered some of the plan already… in and around our (Active Transportation) trail and project, Connecting Port Hawkesbury,” she said. “We’re hoping to be able to extend our boardwalk and make it a little bit more pedestrian friendly.”

Chisholm-Beaton said they are hoping to bring some recommendations to council and hold more public engagement sessions.

“It’s about coming up with concepts that will encourage people to use the waterfront in ways that really do balance the working waterfront component, but also compliment it with having a waterfront that’s also a destination for citizens, as well as visitors to the town,” the mayor said. “I’m really excited about some of the concepts that have been discussed so far. The committee is hoping to be able to bring some recommendations to council, and also to hold some more engagement with the broader community to roll-out what that waterfront plan will look like.”

Chisholm-Beaton said a new coffee and ice cream shop, the proposed Marine Innovation Centre, as well as a new restaurant, are some examples of the new developments taking place along the town’s waterfront.

“We have some pretty cool ideas percolating for the waterfront and we won’t give any away at this point, but I think there’ll be some artistic additions there,” the mayor said.

Smith said the developments taking place and planned for that part of Port Hawkesbury are promising.

“I understand the hope is that there’s going to be a new restaurant and café down there, going with some existing developments. That’s exciting to hear,” he added.