Sarnia waterfront modernized in master plan

Proposed view of marina district outlined in Sarnia's Waterfront Master Plan. Image courtesy of the City of Sarnia.

After nearly nine months of development and significant consultation with the community, Sarnia council is to receive the final Waterfront Master Plan report Monday.

The plan focuses on the area from the Point Lands and Andrew S. Brandt Marina at Sarnia Bay, into Centennial Park, and down to Rainbow Park at Devine and Christina Streets.

Mayor Mike Bradley said the future vision has been completely modernized.

“Since the 70s mayors and councils have, about every ten years, brought forward a plan for the waterfront, and I would say with great success we have all of the waterfront under proper control and with public investment,” said Bradley. “This plan takes it to a much higher level over the next ten years. It’s ambitious. It’s sophisticated. It’s very, very, exciting to read.”

Three primary districts would be established; the marina district in the north, the market district adjacent to the downtown in the centre of the waterfront, and the innovation district in the far south.

“(The plan) talks about developing clusters, so that we could have the market area and the Ferry Dock Hill redevelopment. They look for some of the other areas that are underutilized, those lands that we have to the south of Ferry Dock Hill landing, to be studied for further investment. So, I think there’s a lot of good things. There’s a lot of small things that would bring public participation on the waterfront.”

Bradley believes the improvements would have a huge economic impact on the city.

“One is the redesign of the marina restaurant, to make it much more exciting. An outdoor skating rink, where the Great Lakes (scale model) is presently, redesign of the Agora Centre, a market area in the downtown, also trails separating bikes and people, there’s many exciting things in this.”

The plan includes a 15-year strategy to achieve the work.

“That’s the good thing, it can be done incrementally. Overall, it’s about a $50 million cost, with public, private and hopefully senior government funds. But, it’s a really exciting plan and the public were very clear, they want more activities on the waterfront, they want more programming on the waterfront and this gives this council the chance to start that and set that up for future councils.”

If approved, council is being asked to direct staff to develop an implementation proposal for consideration during 2023 budget deliberation.

The plan can be viewed here.