June 2018

158 159 Gather. Connect. Grow. The Vancouver Island Conference Centre is an ideal environment for reflection, networking and decision making. Meetings Conferences/Conventions Trade/Consumer Shows Special Events/Festivals Let us help you plan your next event: 250.244.4050 coming forward for purpose-built rental. It’s been a large component of our applications for the last fewyears.We have over 500 units that are making their way through the permitting and approvals process. So,we’ve seen some strong investment in multi-family,with particular attention to pur- pose-built rental,which is something that has not been built here for a number of decades.” With meager room to expand, Lindsay says that city policy is to promote alternative housing solu- tions and the infill of its neighborhoods.“We’re specifically looking at infilling in our town centers, such as our downtown, encouraging growth and investment,” he remarks. “In the last few years, we’ve seen a number of transformative projects in terms of multi-family, mid-rise investment in our downtown and our other growth nodes. At this point, there’s no strong push to expand our boundaries, but rather take advantage of the infrastructure that we have available and using it in the most efficient way possible.” Another item on the city’s agenda is upgrading that infrastructure to catch up to new regulatory requirements while making sure that Nanaimo’s municipal facilities and assets are in their best condition to support community life. For example, in 2016, the city completed its water treatment plant. “It’s a state-of-the-art membrane water treatment plant, only one of two in Canada that uses gravity to filter drinking water,” says Sims. “It has capacity to provide about 125,000 people with fresh drinking water.We have improved the quality of our drinking water significantly with that project. On the wastewater side, Nanaimo is upgrading its wastewater treatment plant, so that will help keep the waters off the coast of Nanai- mo clean. Those two projects are in the $180 million range, between the two of them.” NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA PREFERRED VENDORS n Nanaimo Port Authority www.portauthority.npa.ca The Nanaimo Port Authority administers, controls, and man- ages the harbour, waters, and foreshore adjacent to Nanaimo, British Columbia. Its vision is to be the Vancouver Island port connecting the island to the world via the Salish Sea, providing the safe and sustainable movement of people and goods while delivering economic growth that benefits Canada, British Columbia, and the Island. Its purpose is to build and maintain port resources, while stimulating projects and initiatives in cooperation with com- munity partners and businesses, in order to create new jobs and increase economic development and opportunities. The Nanaimo Port Authority was created in 1998 by the Canada Marine Act, which created port authorities to manage the operation of 19 of Canada’s 20 most economically important seaports. n Vancouver Island Conference Centre www.viconference.com Using gravity as an advantage was in mind in 2014, when the city replaced its open reservoir on Nanaimo Lakes Road. “It had reached the end of its life and could not continue to function as a result of changes in water quality regulations,”Sims notes.“So,we constructed a new enclosed reservoir, including a control building that, as we fill the res- ervoir,we generate electricity.This uses our drinking water system to generate electricity for sale into the BCHydro grid.The facility is generating close to $100,000 a year in revenue that helps offset the costs of operating the water system.” McKay believes that the city’s gravity-fed water system can be expanded to produce even more electricity, as well as more revenue for its coffers. “We can get from our reservoir, which is about 15 miles outside of town, to the north end of Nanai- mo, on gravity alone,” he posits. “So why not take advantage of that gravity-fed system if we can, and start building a whole bank of hydro-elec- tricity producing power generating stations all along the line, over a number of years? So,we’ve got a lot of work to do to determine the costs versus the returns to see if we’re ready for that. But you’ve got to look at alternative funding sources; we can’t constantly go to the taxpayer for funding.” An old and beautiful city, steeped in tradition, today’s Nanaimo offers its residents not only a booming economy and enlightened governance, but a wealth of open and protected green spaces, a rich and diverse culture, many outdoor recre- ational activities, and a host of modern amenities, as well, providing a lifestyle second to none for living, working, and playing. Ron Kirk Photography