Tapping into potential: Town of Yarmouth hires consultant to strike up a Waterfront Development Action Plan

Published on August 30, 2017

Is there more untapped potential when it comes to the Yarmouth waterfront? That’s what the town wants to explore.

©Tina Comeau

YARMOUTH, N.S. – Yarmouth’s waterfront is already an area that compels people to take photographs.

But the town of Yarmouth is setting its sights on the bigger picture and is looking to tap into more of what the waterfront can offer.

“The bottom line is we have an amazing waterfront. It’s a working waterfront. But we want to make sure that it lives up to its potential,” said Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood.

The Yarmouth waterfront is, and will always be, a working waterfront. But the town wants to explore what else the waterfront has to offer.
Tina Comeau

At an Aug. 24 committee of the whole meeting, followed by a special council meeting, the town accepted a proposal submitted by consultants WSP Canada Group Limited to work with the community for the preparation of a Waterfront Development Action Plan.

The bottom line is we have an amazing waterfront. It’s a working waterfront. But we want to make sure that it lives up to its potential.

Mayor Pam Mood

Five proposals were submitted to a request for proposals (RFP) put out by the town. Councillor Jim MacLeod, who serves as chair of the town’s Planning Advisory Committee and is also chair of the Waterfront Development Corporation, said the quality of the proposals made settling on one firm “a real challenge.”

The firm selected put in a bid of $49,016 for the work. The approved budget for the project had been $50,000. Both figures exclude HST.

“I’m looking forward to the activity associated with this,” MacLeod said in bringing forth the RFP recommendation to council.

Yarmouth waterfront
Tina Comeau

Mayor Mood said the town feels this is the right approach to take.

“How do you mesh tourism with a working waterfront, respecting the fishery, the industry that’s already there, and draw more people down? How do you put that whole picture together and come up with a best go-forward plan?” she said.

Asked if she sees shortcomings with the waterfront, the mayor said she would love to see more public spaces.

Boats dock on the Yarmouth waterfront throughout the summer.
Tina Comeau

Mood said there will be an opportunity for public voices to be heard as part of this exploration process.

The mayor likened the process with the waterfront to one the town undertook many years ago looking at downtown revitalization.