With gangway and moorings town will become stop for east coast sailors
© Lawrence Powell
From left are ACOA Minister Rob Moore, fire chief Malcolm Francis, Alan Melanson as Champlain, Town Crier Peter Davies and escort Val Davies, Annapolis Royal Wharf Association president Adrian Nette, West Nova MP Greg Kerr, and wharf association member Jane Nicholson. Moore announced $38,587 in funding for a floating dock, four mid-channel moorings, and a gangway.
By Lawrence Powell
Four mid-channel moorings, a floating dock, and an articulated gangway system will make Annapolis Royal a stop along the way for sailors along the eastern seaboard. Funding from the federal government to help with the project was announced to a large crowd Thursday morning at King’s Theatre -- just a stone’s throw from the wharf.
ACOA Minister Rob Moore was on hand to announce $38,587 towards the project. The money will be added to funds already raised by the Annapolis Royal Wharf Association.
“Annapolis Royal and the surrounding area are rich in culture and tradition. It’s close to where some of the earliest European settlements, in what would later become Canada, were founded. The revitalization of the wharf will stimulate tourism activity in the area, generating economic benefits for local businesses and tourist attractions,” said Moore. “The Government of Canada is proud to support projects that invest in local infrastructure and lead to the sustainability and well-being of our communities.”
“This initiative will add another element to Annapolis Royal’s traditional tourism offerings, making it easier and more enticing for yachters to stop in for a visit while they explore our province’s 7,600 kilometres of coastline,” said West Nova MP Greg Kerr. “Investments such as this one are important to the health of local economies.”
The $38,587 federal donation is through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund to support the installation of a floating dock, gangway system, and four mid-channel moorings. Currently the wharf can only be accessed by boaters during high-tide, but these additions will allow yachts and other pleasure crafts to access Annapolis Royal safely, at all times.
The wharf upgrades will also make it quicker and easier for the local fire department to launch its zodiac in emergency situations.
“Our vision through the Strategic Waterfront Development Plan is now coming to fruition and will drive economic growth on the waterfront,” said Adrian Nette, president of the Annapolis Royal Wharf Association. “We are excited about the opportunity to draw more visitors here, and to show them all that Annapolis Royal has to offer.”
But Nette said the floating marina is just the beginning.
“This is a very small project. We have much larger pipe dreams we hope will come to fruition in times to come,” said Nette. “Our original concept … was we were going to go to deep water. We’ve done something different. We’ve brought the deep water to us with a little bit, very minimal, actual dredging.”
Nette said there won’t be a lot of water there but with the moorings boats can tie up and visitors can row to the floating dock.
“In the past all they’ve been able to do is wave and go away again,” Nette said. “Now they will be able to tie up to very secure moorings and with their tender will be able to come ashore and feel comfortable even if they wanted to spend a night or two in Annapolis Royal.”
Wharf association member Jane Nicholson told those gathered at King’s Theatre that the moorings and floating dock are just the beginning.
“As Greg (Kerr) told you, this is Phase 1 of the Annapolis Royal Waterfront Development Program,” said Nicholson in reference to the dock. “We have a Phase 2 and a Phase 3. Phase 2 has to with the land on the other side of the tidal power plant around the French Basin area. We’re going to be making a formalized use of what is now an informal use. Phase 3 involves the Big Blue Building at the centre as you come across (the causeway) … and I’m very happy to tell you that Nova Scotia Power Corporation is working with us regarding that.”
Nicholson expects Ottawa will continue to support the wharf association’s work.
“As I said to the minister (Moore) as I met him outside, we have a Phase 2 and a Phase 3 to go and we will be very happy to welcome him back again.”