It’s back to square one at Ladner waterfront


As a Ladner resident for most of my adult years, I have always been drawn to marine activities here on the estuary/delta of the lower Fraser River. It was about 15 years back that I made a decision to focus on the tourism and business potential of our Ladner waterfront.

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Over the years there were many steps (and not a few missteps) in this endeavour, including two storefronts on Chisholm Street and finally our marine paddle sports/tour boat facility at the Elliott Street wharf. We had some good times indeed introducing many locals and visitors of all ages to our local waterways.

Notwithstanding the limitations of trying to make sense of a seasonal business in our beloved village was a constant grind, so when the opportunity arose to take advantage of a larger and more accessible market I jumped and moved to Steveston.

It was a good decision on many fronts, however, after a dozen-plus years of commuting through the George Massey Tunnel I decided to call it a day. (It took this long to disabuse myself of my conviction that some sort of strategy to ease this daily insanity would actually come to pass in my lifetime. Now I know better.)

So what now, City of Delta? Why hasn't anything on the Ladner Harbour waterfront changed in the past decade? Of course, we know the answers range from uncertainty/confusion around water lot leases to our current fluid retail business environment to the harsh reality of appropriate planning for the inevitable impacts of climate change-associated sea level rise (which no one really wants to talk about and I get that).

One idea: some sort of on-site "Harbour Hub." I'm picturing a facility which would serve as a contact and information centre for residents, visitors and potential investors and developers. One possibility that jumps out is the city-owned building currently serving as a transitional office facility for the Delta Museum on Delta Street at Chisholm Street.

This would also be an ideal location for a Ladner Community Bikes and Mobility program with a goal to reactivate both young ones as well as our seniors, of which I am one.

Formidable impediments stand in the way, to say the least, but to do nothing seems so pointless, futile and self-defeating. If we need to start again in our Ladner Harbour after all these years, so be it.

Tony Dales

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