A group of Qualicum Beach residents have a big idea for the waterfront they hope will do a lot to turn the fortunes of the town around.
Peter Drummond said the group got together just before Christmas because they felt the waterfront needed some major sprucing up.
“We really felt the waterfront was looking rather tired.”
“We thought we would generate ideas of what we can do to spruce it up. We wanted to stimulate discussion.”
The idea they came up with — a seawall walk that goes around several homes and businesses on the seaward side — is bound to do just that.
Drummond said his group wants to have an elevated walkway around the properties from the Captain’s Inn to where Chesapeake’s used to be.
“It would go 80 feet out at the widest point and come back in an arched pathway back to a grassy verge between Chesapeake’s and the tourist information booth,” he said. “It has to extend around two private residences and three commercial establishments.”
He said the vision includes two kiosks at either end of the walkway, where people can come with coffee to chat and enjoy the view.
Part of the reason for the proposal, he said, involves safety.
“Nobody really wants to walk out on that roadway [around the buildings],” he said. “It’s a safety issue with traffic.”
He said the group also wants to install viewpoints that extend from the walkway up to the Brant viewing area and three large totem poles interspersed along the walkway’s length.
Drummond said the proposal would cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2.5 million, although he didn’t have it costed out in detail.
“This can be implemented over a period of time,” he said.
The town has asked us to come up with ideas, and we’ve done it,” he said. “We tried to address what we see as problems down there. If the waterfront is more attractive to the people of the town, you are going to get others there, too.”