Submitted by Team Downtown Tobermory Committee
Based on an initiative put forward last spring by the Chamber of Commerce, the Municipality of the Northern Bruce Peninsula was asked to support the development of an enhanced public seating area at the head of Little Tub Harbour.
After a number of meetings with local residents and business owners, some in support and some opposed, the Municipality agreed to a one year pilot project. What was agreed to was converting three parking spaces into a public seating area and supplying picnic tables and planters. These spaces were located adjacent to the boat ramp. The low key investment was in keeping with the non permanent nature of the pilot project.
The Chamber is now preparing to make a presentation to Council asking that this small area (3 parking spaces) be set aside as a public space on a more long term basis. This would allow the Chamber to apply to Bruce County for funds to enhance the offer in the area.
The Chamber is not proposing any enlargement of the area, nor is it looking to remove parking from the downtown core. From feedback received from the public we would suggest additional handicapped parking spaces close to Peacocks to make it easier for those needing this service.
From talking to local businesses and residents we would also suggest to the Municipality that the brick walkway area parallel Bay Street be enhanced for pubic use. Perhaps some of the non-native trees could be removed and the area between the retaining wall and the walkway levelled to allow for benches. This area provides excellent views of the harbour and could be enjoyed by visitors and local residents without any impact to downtown parking.
We acknowledge that there is opposition to these proposals, but feel that there is also substantial support. Tobermory’s economic base is tourism and like any business it is necessary to maintain and invest in infrastructure to ensure economical sustainability and growth.
We would welcome feedback, positive or negative, as well as any ideas or suggestions that you have. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org