Sustainable Waterfront & Downtown Master Plan

The City of Nelson has developed a Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan.


The City of Nelson has created a Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan to guide future development and redevelopment in the downtown and waterfront areas. The Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan draws on the goals and objectives established in the City of Nelson's Path to 2040 Sustainability Strategy created through a collaborative approach between the City and community members.


The downtown is the commercial and cultural centre of Nelson and is considered the ‘heart' of the community. The downtown offers a mixture of uses such as: retail, accommodation, restaurants, office space, arts, culture facilities, and housing. This mixture of uses helps establish a more diverse, thriving community of people. The walkability of the downtown allows for stronger community connections and provides a small town feel.


The waterfront is the natural gem of the city, and offers great potential and opportunity for the future growth of the community. The waterfront spans from the northwestern edge of the city from the CPR lands to Red Sands Beach, a total length of 4.8 Kilometers. This area is largely comprised of light industrial, heavy industrial, CPR lands, commercial, the municipal airport and open/park space. The waterfront area also includes approximately 81 hectares of the north shore waterfront, located at the north end of the Big Orange Bridge.

Purpose of Master Plan

The purpose of the Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan is to find a way to better connect and revitalize these two fundamental areas of the community. The plan aims to embody the principles of sustainability and will guide future development of the downtown and waterfront areas. This project has been completed through an open and collaborative process with the community. Project Objectives include:

  • Creating a clear and concise plan that follows the principles of thePath to 2040 Sustainability Strategy
  • Identifying and designing appropriate gateways to the downtown and to the waterfront
  • Identifying areas of public interest on the waterfront (i.e. parks, open spaces, plazas, public access and view corridors)
  • Creating design guidelines that direct development in both the private and public realm
  • Preserving and building upon Nelson's character and create opportunities for revitalization
  • Identifying locations for appropriate land uses
  • Establishing an efficient flow of people to and from the waterfront and downtown
  • Ensuring a comprehensive and integrated approach for future development and redevelopment