Eastern Passage’s remote appeal is becoming more appealing, drawing more residents. Balancing growth while maintaining the essence of the area is the critical challenge for the future, says area councillor Jackie Barkhouse.
“Eastern Passage is becoming well-known as a destination. With a rugged, natural beauty, it is very unique in a community so close to the city centre, yet removed in many ways due to geographic location and nearby amenities,” she says.
“Although there are residents who ask about facilities like a rec centre, library etc., it is evident that one of the attractions of living in a community such as ours is that it is slower-paced, it is removed, and it offers something quite different for residents.”
The beaches, surf spots, waterfront boardwalk, Fishermen’s Cove, along with walking and biking trails in the area as well as on McNab’s Island, act as open-air recreation centres for most of the population, she says.
“One of the issues often brought up by residents, and, that I have taken heart in hand, is a desire to provide coastline access to residents from near and far,” she says.
“We are known as Canada’s Ocean Playground, yet more and more communities lose access. It is a loss and very shortsighted for us to allow this to continue. In my opinion, it is an investment that will outlast any building and parking lot.”
There are plans in the works for community infrastructure projects such as more trails on McNab’s Island and developing Fishermen’s Cove, particularly via improving Government Wharf Road. Long-term plans like a recreation centre or a library remain for a distant day, Barkhouse says.
“We are now in the HRM Facilities Masterplan, and that is a great accomplishment, because it does put us in the queue and you need to be there in order to proceed. I am also working with the library board to have those needs in our community recognized, in the hope that we also get on that shortlist,” she says.
Barkhouse also hints at an “exciting project” in the works for Cow Bay, but she isn’t ready to discuss it yet.
“It will be a ‘great’ story very soon!” she told Metro.