Another major infrastructure project in downtown Yarmouth has been completed.
Monday, July 12th, 2021 - Yarmouth, N.S. – Another major infrastructure project in downtown Yarmouth has been completed. The final phase of the Main Street Streetscape Redevelopment project was focused on beautification and creating a more pedestrian-friendly and accessible downtown. The new features of the project, including the “lobster car” art structures, are now on full display and were celebrated this morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony at Alma Square.
Last fall, the Town replaced sewer and water infrastructure, installed new curbing, and put down new asphalt between Parade Street and John Street to complete phase I of the project. Bump outs were added as well to improve accessibility and convenience for pedestrians, and to slow vehicle traffic for improved safety. Phase II began in early spring with a focus on adding beauty, and to further improve the area for walking traffic.
The new streetscape offers a distinct coastal theme through its features. The most notable being unique lobster car structures that offer an expression of our most important local industry. They also bring a touch of colour and playfulness to Main Street. The lobster car is divided up into six pieces to be distributed throughout the streetscape. While the car becomes interactive public art in the streetscape, the pieces also offer practical use as a photo backdrop, or a small area of shelter for pedestrians to stop and relax in the shade. A lobster car inspired bus shelter was also added at the Alma Street bus stop.
Other highlight features include colourful “kitchen party” seating that sit upon sturdy deck timbers that resemble what might be found when walking on a local wharf. Planting beds installed feature perennial species that thrive in coastal environments and pieces of granite reflect the rock formations found at Cape Forchu. Also added were several bike racks and LED lighting.
“Today is exciting as we see another section of our downtown rejuvenated”, said Mayor Pam Mood. “Over the last several years we’ve seen so many positive changes in the downtown. Property and business owners have responded well to our façade improvement and tax rebate programs, and the infrastructure and streetscape improvements will help to improve the appeal of the downtown so those businesses can thrive from the added foot traffic.”
The completed work benefitted greatly from funding from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). ACOA provided a $280,000 non-repayable contribution to the project through its Innovative Communities Fund.
“The success of Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry relies on attracting visitors with new opportunities,” said the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore — St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA. “This Main Street revitalization recognizes what makes Yarmouth unique, and highlights it for visitors and community members who work, play and shop here. We’re proud to invest in this project, and I look forward to seeing Nova Scotians and visitors alike enjoy it for years to come.”
Local business owner Ray Tynski was present for the unveiling, and offered the following words about the streetscape improvements. “On behalf of Greco pizza and Grinners group, we are thrilled with
the streetscape improvements and lobster car theme, which we feel represent this community in the true spirit of its fishing heritage. We are proud to have been in operation on main street since 1985 and we look forward to being a part of this streetscape for many decades to come"
The design work for the project was carried out by Fathom Studio of Halifax. Landscape Architect Nicholas Robins headed up much of the work and said the following. "The Town of Yarmouth continues to demonstrate its commitment to creating an inviting and distinct Main Street. Fathom Studio is honoured to help re-imagine the relationship between people and the street. The addition of site-specific Public Art reinforces Yarmouth's sense of place and commitment to creating an unforgettable visitor experience."
Yarmouth-based Garian Construction carried out the streetscape work. Brandon McNicol project managed the work and is pleased with the end result and the cooperation of all involved to get the work done.
“Again, we are proud of being part of our town’s projects and this one especially as it is so unique,” said McNicol. “We are very pleased to see this project completed in time to meet with our provinces lighter travel restrictions and the new streetscape will be a warm welcome for locals as well as visitors. We would like to thank the town’s engineering department, the business owners along Main Street, and our local team of subcontractors, as we were able to work together and get this finished efficiently without major disruptions. We hope everyone can visit downtown Yarmouth and see all the great improvements that have happened over these recent years!”