The Mission harbour is getting a significant facelift which the local authority believes will draw in more visitors and improve the area’s esthetics.
Work is underway along Harbour Avenue as the $900,000-plus project sees the dike level raised, new rip-rap, benches, lighting and ramps installed, and construction of a new Mission Harbour Authority (MHA) building which will likely house an interpretive centre and historical photo displays.
MHA president Alec Finnsson said a “substantial portion” of the work should be completed by June, and tie in well with the Spirit Square.
The harbour is a community asset, he said, and the improvements will attract business and tourists to the facility.
“One of the most exciting things is that [this project] creates a diversity for the harbour,” Finnsson stated. Because of the decline in commercial fishing, small craft harbours like Mission need to be more than just a place to moor a vessel.
And while the commercial fishing industry is a fraction of what it was in the 1960s, he said it’s still a “viable industry” in Mission, with 24 vessels anchored here during the season.
The cash for the work came from a three-way partnership between the District of Mission, the province and the federal government, said Mike Younie, Mission’s environmental manager.
Two-thirds of the $830,000 being spent on raising the dike are covered by the other governments, with an additional $100,000 being spent on “top of dike” works, such as ramps, and benches. Younie said Mission’s share was $230,000, taken from general reserves. Parking is being increased too by five spots.