A brief history and list of accomplishments of the Pier Street Association, which had its 10th anniversary in 2008
Before 1998 …
This part of town is also called “the harbour precinct”. It was part of the Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) and was taxed annually over $12,500. Many of the merchants and property owners felt they were not getting their money’s worth, so they simply refused to pay. Refusing to pay had consequences. City Hall and Downtown BIA redrew the BIA boundaries, leaving everybody on the Island Highway to the south of the former Home Hardware store (now Bargain Shop) out of the BIA. They paid no taxes and had no representation in the council. The area was an eyesore.
In 1998 …
A group of interested merchants and property owners got together to form the Pier Street Association, led by president Blair McLean. The association began as a volunteer group, relying solely on fundraising events and donations from those with business interests in the area.
Over time, the Association gained momentum and enthusiastically used funds to clean up the area and transform it into the beautiful space you see today. Instrumental in this transformation was Jurgen Kettler who became president from 2001-2007 and initiated the success of the widely popular Farmer’s Market in 2003 which still runs today. Jurgen’s time as president saw him work closely with city council and the press to give Pier Street its notable and esteemed profile within town.
Currently, the Pier Street Association remains front and centre in local news, activities and volunteer work.
A list of accomplishments in the first 10 years
- about 25 Murals along the street
- about 50 Flower Barrels installed and maintained twice a year
- Driftwood Pilings to create a maritime character
- Pier Street Farmers Market (May to September)
- Pier Street Christmas Fairs in the Maritime Heritage Centre
- support for Rotary to convert the sewage tanks into the MHC
- purchase of additional LED lighting (pole ornaments)
- member of City’s Beautification Committee
- support of July 1st celebrations
- support of Haig Brown festival
- part of the Christmas light-up initiative and Santa’s arrivals
Pier Street Association was one of the nominees for the Chamber Awards of Excellence, for the success and impact of the “Historic Mile”.
Pier Street Association got a special mention by the Communities in Bloom judges, when the City got 5 Blooms: “The Pier Street Association is an example of good partnership at all levels and the product of this has been an impressive location on the waterfront attracting many visitors and providing recreational facilities for the townspeople…. Congratulations to all members”.
CANADIAN GEOGRAPHIC SUMMER TRAVEL 2009 lists Pier Street Farmers Market at the top of their ‘TOP TEN’ list for all of Canada.