Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization Project

Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization Project

What is the Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization Project?

After three years of public input and volunteer assistance, the City of Nelson is pleased to announce the launch of its Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization project, a multi-phased program that will result in an array of benefits for existing businesses and residents, as well as visitors who come to Nelson from all over the world. The revitalization is aimed at attracting new development and investment throughout the Heritage City’s downtown core, and along its remarkable waterfront. The Stores to Shores’ first phase will be the revitalization of one of the city’s most historically important thoroughfares — Hall Street.  Phase One will include IODE Park to Lake Street, with work slated to begin in Spring 2015 and estimated to end in Winter 2015.

 It is a multi-phased project that will result in timely improvements to the City’s underground utilities, improved pedestrian and vehicular safety at the Vernon/Hall Street intersection, improved access to the Nelson and District Community Complex, increased parking, a new public plaza area adjacent to IODE Park and a host of public amenities including new sidewalks and street lighting, sidewalk furniture, opportunities for public art, bike parking, and pre-servicing the site for a future public washroom. 

Why are we undertaking this project?

The current challenges of planning for the future development of Nelson’s waterfront lands, while preserving and enhancing the adjacent downtown, were recognized over 35 years ago when the City embarked on its first planning exercise for the Waterfront and the Downtown, and provided guidance to previous City Councils in implementing policies and directions that led to the creation of waterfront parks and the revitalization of Baker Street.  This investment was key to transforming the city from a community primarily reliant on the forest and railroad industries to a broader economic base supported by tourism, small entrepreneurs and other small and mid-size businesses.  Nelson is unique in that it has flourished in this transition.

To build on this success and in recognition that further investment was required in these two key communities, in 2011, Council approved the Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan.  The plan provides guidance for further strategic reinvestment by both the public and private sector and identifies a vision that reflects past goals while incorporating the community’s new ideas about mixed-use neighbourhoods, active transportation and sustainability. 

Similar to other communities throughout BC that are reinvesting in their downtowns, including Rossland, Trail, Kelowna, and Fernie, the Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization project is key to the implementation of many of the 10 goals identified in the Master Plan. The revitalization is aimed at attracting new development and investment throughout Nelson’s strong, vibrant downtown core, and along its remarkable waterfront.

 Master Plan Key Goals

Achieved through the Revitalization Project

 1.  Create connections between Downtown and the Waterfront


 2.  Encourage development of vacant Downtown land


 3.  Protect heritage /ensure new construction respectful but contemporary


 4.  Intensify development in Railtown and the Waterfront


 5.  Enhance public waterfront opportunities


 6.  Maintain sight lines from Downtown to the water


 7.  Enhance Cottonwood Creek


 8. Protect Red Sands Beach


 9. Create strong civic spaces that are focal points for neighbourhoods


 10.Enhance streetcar network



When will the project start and when is it expected to be completed?

Phase One is scheduled to begin this spring with an anticipated completion by year end.

What are the benefits of this project?

  • Roughly two-thirds of the work to be undertaken on Hall Street is already required as part of the City of Nelson’s on-going commitment to providing reliable water, sewer and electrical infrastructure as well as the upkeep of safe roads, sidewalks and stairways.  This is work that needs to be done now.
  • The project also speaks to the vital role that Hall Street has played in Nelson – in decades past, today and well into the city’s future.  Steered by an 11-member volunteer Hall Street Working Group and a five-person team of City Hall staff, the project implements several of the key goals of the Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan by establishing strong pedestrian connections and smooth traffic flow between historic Baker Street and the city’s incomparable lakefront . Hall Street is the only direct route connecting these two extraordinary parts of town.
  • The project will transform Hall Street into a unique, vibrant boulevard, drawing residents and visitors alike to the city’s unique mix of shopping, dining and invaluable waterfront amenity. 

 Once this project is complete, what changes will I see?

  • Improved sidewalks and large bump-outs at intersection corners that will provide more space for pedestrians;
  • Benches along Hall Street where you can sit and relax in the heart of downtown Nelson;
  • New custom-designed light fixtures that reflect Nelson’s past and future;
  • Bike infrastructure including bike lanes and more bike racks;
  • Pre-servicing of a site adjacent to the Hall Street Plaza for a future public washroom;
  • A new water fountain and bottle filling station;
  • A new plaza space to host markets and community events; and,
  • Trees and greenery that will add shade and color to our downtown core.  

What’s happening with the City’s underground infrastructure?

The City has an opportunity through this project to replace and repair aging water, sewer, and storm infrastructure. Upgrades to the existing shallow utility services are also planned.

The changes include:

  • A new water main installed along Hall Street;
  • Upgrades to the existing storm sewer, as well as a new sanitary sewer system between Vernon and Lake Streets;
  • Replacement of the road sub-base that will achieve the optimum lifespan for the pavement; and,
  • Upgrades to shallow utility services including hydro and communications

What’s included in Phase One of this project?

Phase One includes Herridge Lane down to Lake Street, as well as increased parking options on Baker and Victoria Streets (see ‘Proposed New Parking Stalls’ diagram). There’ll be traffic flow changes on Park, Cedar, High and Baker Streets (see ‘Proposed Traffic Flows’ diagram).   In all, the project will also include improved sidewalks and stairways, trees, flowers and greenery, amenity areas, street furniture, safer intersections, increased parking, improved traffic flow and new infrastructure.

What will Phase Two include?

Phase two will continue where Phase One leaves off. It will see the renewal and enhancement of underground utilities, as well as investment in public space improvements between Lake Street and the Waterfront.  When it’s all finished, Hall Street will be a continuous corridor linking Baker Street to the Waterfront.

How will I be impacted during construction?  

Whether you are a business owner or a resident, you can expect temporary disruptions during construction.   These may include disruptions to parking, vehicle and pedestrian traffic, shipping and receiving, and very temporary disruptions to power and water services — but these will be scheduled and residents/businesses will be notified well in advance.  It’s also likely there will be periods of construction related disturbance such as noise and truck traffic.

 The City is working hard to minimize these disruptions by maintaining open lines of communication via the City of Nelson website (, Facebook page, local media, and providing current contact information for City staff. Business owners will also receive regular updates describing progress to date, as well as upcoming plans and any expected disruptions or delays.   

Has the City consulted the public on these changes?

The City has undergone significant public consultation, design and planning work over the past three years:

One Week Intensive Design Exercise

  • Collaboration with the Hall Street Working Group, City staff and Provincial authorities
  • Design drop-in workshops scheduled throughout the week
  • Site exploration and documentation
  • Conversations with local residents, business, land owners, tourists
  • Launch of Facebook Page
  • Wrap Up Public Information Session
  • Exit Survey #1

Development of Concept

  • Refinement of options and various areas
  • Estimates and Phasing
  • Facebook Updates

Public Open House

  • Presentation of preliminary design
  • Exit Survey #2
  • Facebook updates

Further Development of Concept

  • Incorporation of public feedback and ongoing refinement of design
  • Revisions to Hall Street/Vernon Street intersection
  • Development of options for Vernon Street traffic flow

First Quarter 2015 Consultation Planning with Adjacent Business Owners and Residents

  • Individual meetings with adjacent business owners on traffic flow options and parking configurations
  • City letter to all property owners, tenants and business owners immediately impacted by the proposed changes providing an overview of the project and an invite to the update session
  • A Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization update session on January 26, 2015 at the Adventure Hotel from 4:00pm - 7:00pm to provide an overview of the project prior to issuing the construction tender
  • A dedicated page on the City website ( to provide further information on the Hall Street Corridor project.
  • Dedicated Facebook page for updates on the Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization project

Presentation Panels for the January 26th Update Session. [PDF - 4.9 MB]

 If you require further information please call 250-352-8217 or 250-352-8107

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