Planning processes were highlight of 2015
If you were asked to name the top story for Campbellton in 2015, would you have an answer ready?
Probably most people in Campbell River might wonder if anything happened in the old neighbourhood last year because a quick drive through it would suggest little has changed, but for local activists there was a surprisingly long list of notable achievements.
Certainly the construction and successful first season of the Campbellton neighbourhood garden on 15th near Petersen was a notable tangible change, and the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association's production of a documentary film about it deserves an honourable mention too, but it's hard to argue that either is a really big deal.
The opening of the Elk Falls Suspension is a much more visible and tangible development that will pay dividends to the local tourism industry for many decades to come, but is Elk Falls Provincial Park really a part of Campbellton? Probably not, though its impacts do spill over into Campbellton.
Similarly the beginning of construction of B.C. Hydro's $1-billion John Hart Generating Station Renewal Project is a major project even on a national scale, and though it too is technically not in Campbellton the main works yard of construction contractor ASL-JV IS in Campbellton, occupying the former Campbellton school site.
Also quite tangible were the road safety improvements on Petersen Hill and a new set of traffic lights and pedestrian crossing controls at 14th and Petersen, plus some new sidewalks and other pedestrian lights added elsewhere, but while they could be life-saving they're not exactly front page news.
Clearly visible was the erection of some 40 artistic banners on Tamarac and Willow Streets, enabled by beautification funding from the City, and while they too did make some news they weren't exactly a major structural change.
Completion of an upgrading of Campbell River Bowling Centre on 16th Avenue, including a new dining area for Ryan's Pizzeria, was a notable story that generated some media coverage but from the exterior there was little sign of changes.
The Quinnie came back
Probably the major business story of the year in Campbellton was first the closing in May and then the revival in the Fall of the Quinsam Hotel, the historic and iconic bar and restaurant that has stood at the southern entrance of Campbellton for almost 100 years.
The reopening of "the Quinnie" and the return of live music to its bar was a major boost to the mood of the neighbourhood, especially when a Campbellton-based band, the Raincoast Rollers, recently had two full-house nights there.
Similarly the annual three-day Logger Sports event at Nunns Creek Park was another success despite a heavy rain diminishing attendance on one of the three days, and that may have influenced Campbell River Council to begin a planning process for upgrading the park.
And actually that seemingly modest item reflects what was really the top story of 2015 for Campbellton, namely the initiation of several planning processes and other activities preparatory to major improvements coming this year and in future years, starting with imminent lighting improvements by both B.C. Hydro and the City, and including three processes leading towards structural improvements:
- Improved public access to the Campbell River along the Myrt Thompson Trail and at several other spots in Campbellton.
- The development of an entrance feature at 14th and Tamarac to give Island Highway travellers a convenient place to stop and consider the city's amenities.
- The future development of a tourist information facility and/or transit hub on the vacant land near the Tamarac Street bridge, which is in a very preliminary stage.
CNA AGM on Jan. 13
Those and other issues will be discussed further at the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association's annual general meeting set for Wednesday Jan. 13 evening at the Eagles Hall, with doors at 5, the garden film at 5:30 or so, and business proceedings around 6:30 - open to all interested people.