Rink, new stage possibilities in store for Saint John waterfront

·2 min read
An artist's conception of what the new Loyalist Plaza might look like when completed.  The city did caution people that the budget for the project may not allow for all of the proposed amenities to be constructed. (Megan Macalpine/CBC - image credit)
An artist's conception of what the new Loyalist Plaza might look like when completed. The city did caution people that the budget for the project may not allow for all of the proposed amenities to be constructed. (Megan Macalpine/CBC - image credit)

Saint John residents got a new look at the proposed changes to the city's Loyalist Plaza at a public feedback session Monday.

The session showcased some plans for public spaces at the plaza, situated next to the proposed Fundy Quay development.

The plans include several landscaped "islands", a revamped performing arts stage and even an ice rink.

Dan Glenn, the lead designer for the project, said he was excited by the positive reception the plans received.

"I've done a lot of presentations in Saint John like this and Saint Johners are kind of notorious for being, you know, critical," said Glenn.

"But so far it's really been very, very positive and a lot of smiling faces."

Residents were invited to share their critiques both at the event and via email.

Submitted by Develop Saint John
Submitted by Develop Saint John

Glenn said the next step was to take those critiques and fine tune the designs to better fit what residents are looking for at the site.

"Once we're happy with that, move into doing construction drawings and also we're looking at starting construction demolition this winter," said Glenn.

Brent McGovern, the city's commissioner of utilities and infrastructure, said he hopes the city has provided good plans for the site and feedback that requires changes will be minimal.

"Hopefully, it's not so much about key features ... hopefully it's more so about tweaking of features and maybe amending some of what you've seen this evening," said McGovern.

Mary Leblanc, one of the attendees at the meeting, said she hopes the plans would bring more people into the city's uptown.

Roger Cosman/CBC
Roger Cosman/CBC

"In the late 70s, 80s, 90s, this was really a hub," said Leblanc.

"It was the place to be because there was lots of things going on."

Another attendee, Charles Frees-Melvin, says the plans look great overall, but there are some aspects he questions.

"I think the ice surface might be a little bit impractical with the salt spray coming off the bay," said Frees-Melvin.

"I think it could melt the water, not be a nice ice surface."

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