Starting next summer, McNab’s Island will be a little more welcoming to visitors. The province is spending $150,000 to expand the wharf, add toilets, and improve signage. “It’s not going to be a massive wharf, but it’s the first step along the way to enable some access,” says Waterfront Development Corporation president Colin MacLean.
It’s still in the planning stages, but the WDC’s marina services staff will be working with the Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of McNab’s Island Society to increase the size of Garrison Wharf and put in a couple of other floating docks, said Friends of McNab’s president Cathy McCarthy.
“The plans are to improve the docking facilities so there is room for them to tie up,” McCarthy says. The existing floating dock isn’t very big and the improvements will help remove a bit of the bottleneck for private boats that aren’t supposed to tie up now and should only be dropping passengers off.
An estimated 25,000 people visit the island every year with two charters taking people to the island, one from Halifax and one from Eastern Passage. “It’s becoming more popular,” McCarthy says. “A regular ferry service would be great, too. We certainly need far more access from downtown Halifax.”
There’s one composting toilet now, but there will be more along with signs to help visitors navigate the 372-hectare island. Minister of Natural Resources Zach Churchill says the infrastructure improvements “will benefit the community by improving access to this unique provincial park in Halifax Harbour.”