One of the flagship projects of On Course for 2030 is the development of the waterfront. Indeed, like many ports around the world, Port of Trois-Rivières aims to turn over part of its facilities for commercial, residential and recreational tourism purposes, to consolidate the historical link and harmonious co-existence between the port and the city.
The waterfront sector of Trois-Rivières is part of a diversified environment offering many opportunities:
- It represents the link between two downtown attractions: a newly renovated convention centre at one end, and an outdoor amphitheatre at the other.
- It is linear and offers a magnificent perspective on port activities.
- It is adjacent to the Port Park, a popular site for residents and tourists and adjacent to the downtown.
- It offers excellent real estate development opportunities.
The close collaboration established between the city and the port over the past decade has made it possible to modernize port facilities and ensure more harmonious integration with the urban environment, as well as reducing the port’s environmental impact. This relationship is the envy of many ports and cities.
Now, both organizations wish to push their collaboration further and proceed with the development of the waterfront. “Port of Trois-Rivières has developed, in collaboration with the City Administration, an inspiring and above all realistic vision to create a living environment where residential, recreational, tourism and commercial activities can coexist, while ensuring access to the river for all residents. The City of Trois-Rivières looks forward to working with the Port and the community on this important project,” said Jean Lamarche, Mayor of Trois-Rivières.
In fact, the Port is aiming for nothing less than for the waterfront to become the new identity image of Trois-Rivières. The site should serve as a showcase on the downtown area and a window on the river. Seen from the river, the layout of the site will be in harmony with the existing urban fabric, but it must also show a distinctive and specific signature to the waterfront. In order to create a feeling of belonging and unique pride, the identity of the sector will be based on the founding elements of the Port’s activities from the past to the present.
Seen from the downtown area, the presence of water and the Port will become the centerpieces to highlight the port character of the city. Indeed, downtown Trois-Rivières is one of the few cities in North America to have this proximity to large ships. The maritime transport industry represents an interesting economic showcase which testifies to the dynamism of Trois-Rivières’ industrial and tourist activities. It will therefore be interesting to identify some powerful points of view that will make it possible to observe port activities. The site will become the space of interrelations between the downtown area and the river.
The waterfront has the potential to play a greater role in the city’s economic vitality. Port activities will support the city, which aims to increase the size of its population, which will support commercial and recreational activities throughout the year. It is necessary to provide environments that are both dynamic and peaceful, and that fit the needs of all. What’s important is to draw people out for different reasons, at different times of the day throughout the seasons. In this way, this sector can be vibrant year-round.
The site will be easily accessible, which means attracting people to the waterfront, preferably by using public transit or by cycling or walking, which are healthy, and non-polluting modes of transportation.
Finally, this development will integrate the principles of sustainable development by ensuring a balance between economic, environmental and social objectives. The valorization of this founding site, as well as the buildings and spaces to be developed, shall consolidate its public character. The Port must continue to be a vector of structuring development and, in this sense, it accepts that some of its facilities should be used differently.
In short, the Port aims to ensure that the waterfront becomes a real place of reconnection with a strong, local identity, a daily destination that will delight citizens, workers and visitors.
During the 2018 survey, citizens expressed the wish that in the coming years, the Port would develop more green spaces and increase the use of its downtown properties for commercial, residential and recreational tourism development. These priorities also meet the expectations repeatedly expressed by several stakeholders.
Currently, according to its letters patent, the Port does not have the authority to develop this type of activity on its properties. However, all agree that the waterfront enhancement project must be carried out. The Port, the City and Transport Canada have recently agreed that they will work together to find the best possible solution that will lead to this promising redevelopment for the region.