CONCEPTION HARBOUR, N.L.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
For many years, the old wharf located along Cpl. Jamie Murphy Memorial Drive in Conception Harbour was a spot where recreational boaters wouldn’t dare think of bringing their ship.
“It was in a state of disrepair, an eyesore, a safety issue,” said Mayor Craig Williams, who has served on the local town council for several years since moving back home from Ontario.
These days, the marina is in much better shape.
“It was definitely well needed, just to clean it up and just to rejuvenate the place, because back years ago, there was always wharfs,” the mayor continued, talking with The Compass at the site of the marina. “There was one down by the church. There was one here. So, it’s good to see it being used so much and being accepted as much as it is.”
According to Williams, former mayor John Curran approached an official with the local economic development board back in 2010 to ask what could be done to fix the wharf. This conversation paved the way for the eventual formation of a committee tasked with spearheading the revitalization of the property as a functioning marina.
“It’s more of a tourism development, because it’s not just the marina that’s included here,” the mayor said, noting the town has a few noteworthy shipwrecks that attract the attention of visitors, as do the geological features of Bacon Cove. Divers and kayakers make regular visits to the community, and the town has done some signage work to direct people towards the popular swimming hole near the ballfield and newly revamped playground.
With support from the federal government’s Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency along with the province and municipality, the committee was able to secure the funds for two phases of construction on the wharf (the second phase of work was just competed). The first phase focused on the slipway and parking lot area, along with 23 berths. Phase two added a finger pier and more berths. Altogether, the marina now offers 42 berths for the enjoyment of recreational boaters.
“We have all the berths rented seasonally, and we actually have a waiting list, so it’s nice to see,” Williams said, noting there are two berths left open for guests. Berthage fees go towards the marina commission, which is an arm of council.
There are plans on paper for phase three of the project. Williams said the completion of that work will be contingent on securing the necessary funds. It would include electrical service and additional lighting features, along with a breakwater to help protect the site.