Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of St. Catharines is seeking input for a Waterfront Access Master Plan (WAMP) that will focus on developing a long-term plan for waterfront access to the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Dillon Consulting Limited is leading the process and feedback will be considered. Once the WAMP is created, there will be a presentation to council in December 2023.
The project study area includes the entire shoreline across the City of St. Catharines including the beaches, parks, trails and other access points along the waterfront. The City and Region have completed a number of studies and plans and these will be integrated into the city’s WAMP.
Feedback can be submitted through an online survey until Aug. 11.
“Unlocking the full potential of our waterfront lies in collaboration and active participation with the community,” said Design and Construction Engineer Jocelyn St. Denis. “Once we have feedback from residents on how people are accessing and using the City’s waterfront and what updates they’d like to see, we can use that info to assist in establishing a strong master plan.”
The survey is divided into two parts. The first section includes questions aimed at identifying current usage patterns, existing access points and comments on the effectiveness of the current infrastructure. Part two includes an interactive map to suggest new waterfront access points, areas in need of improvement and acceptable current access points.
The project is currently in the evaluation phase. This stage includes public consultation and will last until October 2023. A draft WAMP will be created and presented to city council.
In 2021, emergency shoreline protection was implemented, closing the stairs used for access to the waterfront in the Abbey Mews area of Port Dalhousie. Also, additional existing staircases to access the water were identified as reaching their end of life. Staff has been considering potential features that would reinstate public access to Lake Ontario and protect the shoreline.
The WAMP will aim to ensure equitable access across the St. Catharines shoreline.
There are three phases to this project.
- Phase 1 – Project Launch / Background Study (May – June 2023)
- Phase 2 –Waterfront Access Evaluation (June – October 2023)
- Phase 3 – Waterfront Access Master Plan (October – December 2023)