The Fundy Discovery Site
The recent acquisition of the former Palliser Restaurant and Motel property has prompted the Municipality of Colchester to explore and develop a comprehensive master plan for the site. We consider the former Palliser site to be a significant location to act as a gateway to the Bay of Fundy to promote the many and varied experiences that the Bay has to offer visitor and resident alike.
The tidal bore is a great, natural phenomenon that has continued to draw visitors to our community with little promotion or fanfare. This project aims to promote the Bay of Fundy and our region by providing a high quality experience that interprets the both the natural and cultural experiences found along the Bay of Fundy.
To share your ideas with us, please visit the survey tab.
A chart is available of the upcoming tidal bore times. Click pdf here (119 KB) to download it.
Municipal purchase of the former Palliser Restaurant property has captured the interest and enthusiasm of the community. This web site will be used to keep interested parties up to date with the progress. It is also a way for people to share their ideas for how the site can be used to bring out its full potential.
This project is of regional and provincial importance so it is important that we get it right. The first priority was to clean up the site and make it more presentable for the 2015 tourist season. This fall the municipality will begin a Master Plan process for the long term redevelopment of the site. This will include a public participation program and visioning exercise. The Palliser redevelopment project is expected to attract participation and support from a variety of organisations including neighbouring municipalities, the Provincial and Federal governments and non-profit organisations.
|1931 Aerial Photograph||Zoomed in view of the area|
We have a website! Visit us at: www.fundydiscovery.ca
|In the early stages of any project there are always lots of things going on. We will try to post a regular update as things happen. We will also post notice of important dates and events.
Update October 22, 2015
It's demolition day! Over the next few days more and more of the site will be demolished and trucked to the balefill in Kemptown.
Update July 14, 2015
The Municipality took ownership of the property in April 2015. In early May, municipal Council discussed what was to be achieved in the short and the longer term.
Short term objectives were to:
1. Remove garbage and general site cleanup;
2. Bring landscape up to a manageable standard by providing the lawns and shrubs some TLC;
3. Demolish buildings in disrepair;
4. Create a solution for of a Visitor information Centre for this tourist season.
The Municipal litter crew spent two days in April cleaning up garbage and debris from the property and along the Tidal Bore Road. 600 kgs of garbage was collected and removed.
The Parks and Recreation crew has worked hard to get the lawns, shrubs and bushes under control this Spring which has helped to make the property look more presentable. The lawn mowing crew are now able to provide regular maintenance. More site work will be required after buildings are demolished to keep the property safe and presentable.
Council and staff inspected the existing buildings and determined that there was little value left in the structures. Unmaintained for a few winters has left the buildings in poor condition. The type and size of the buildings were also determined to not be conducive to future activities. The restaurant, old farm house and motel units will all be demolished as part of the site rehabilitation and in preparation for future development once the Master Plan process is completed.
Before the structures could be demolished, a Hazardous Material Assessment was required to determine if materials, such as asbestos, were present. Now complete, the report has been passed to the two lowest bidders for demolition to review and make necessary adjustments to their pricing.
Demolition at the Palliser will be a big job. Now that the summer season is upon us, the Municipality will have to review the time required for demolition and determine whether it is too disruptive to demolish during the summer season of better to wait until the Fall.
Visitor Information Centre
Municipal Council were keen to have visitor services provided onsite this summer. After reviewing a number of options, it was agreed that the most practical solution was to have municipal staff renovate the old interpretation centre. Work is underway and expected to be completed by the end of July. Unfortunately the building does not have plumbing so a couple of “Go Johns” were placed on site.
Central Nova Tourist Association has agreed to staff the centre once it is complete. Until then staff are present during tidal bore time and the summer students have graciously agreed to help paint the new siding and trim.
The Fundy Discovery Site Project (Starting Fall 2015)
Now that the Palliser property is owned by the Municipality, time will be dedicated to creating a community vision and ultimately a master plan for how the site should be developed. Without getting into details, (that will come out of the process starting this Fall), Council has talked in general terms about what the redevelopment might entail.
To set the context, the Bay of Fundy is a globally recognised natural wonder of the world. With limited advertising, the former Palliser site still attractes 60 to 100 visitors for the tidal bore during the summer months. Lots of folks have visited this year from Nova Scotia and Ontario, but there are also visitors from as far away a Switzerland, Germany, Israel, British Colombia and Texas.
Council’s early discussions on the site focussed on making the former Palliser site a gateway to the Bay of Fundy. Ideas include a modern interpretation of the tidal bore phenomenon and the role of local salt marshes that dominated the landscape of the head of the Bay. The site’s prominent and convenient location, adjacent to Highway 102 makes it a logical gateway to promote the unique and varied opportunities to be experienced as part of the Bay of Fundy experience; from fossils and geology at Joggins and Parrsboro to the Grand Pre cultural landscape, the history of Annapolis Royal and the bountiful fisheries of the Digby region.
|1950's View of the Palliser Restaurant and Motel|
|Three of the four UNESCO sites in Nova Scotia are located on the Bay of Fundy. This speaks volumes for how the local community and a world organisation both value the treasure that is the Bay of Fundy. The Nova Scotia sites are:
1. The Landscape of Grand Pre; http://www.landscapeofgrandpre.ca/
The site has a lot to offer:
• Good viewing location for the Tidal Bore;
• High visibility and convenient access from Highway 102;
• Close proximity for connection to the Cobequid Trail;
• Project fits within provincial policy goals for the Bay of Fundy Region;
• Space for a dynamic tourism hub.
The Gateway Master Plan
At this stage staff is scoping a work program for the master plan, identifying funding options and potential stakeholders. The redevelopment project will have local, provincial and even national interest so it will be important to determine who may be potential stakeholders or potential partners.
Animation of a site is important to attracting interest and activity. We want to ensure the site provides flexibility for various events and activities that are attractive to our residents but will also draw visitors.