Marine Drive washrooms were torn down last year

Beach upgrades ready in time for sun

Visiting White Rock beach is being made all the more enjoyable thanks to improvements along Marine Drive.

The city has focused on a number of waterfront upgrades over the past year, including renovations to washroom facilities and plans for enhanced lighting along the pier, according to Mayor Catherine Ferguson.

“The waterfront is our biggest asset in White Rock and it is, for some, a regional destination to come and visit our beach, and it was long overdue to do some renovations to some of our facilities,” she said.

Renovations to Balsam Street washrooms were expected to be finished mid-May, while those at the foot of Oxford Street were scheduled for completion May long weekend.

“Those will be great new additions to the waterfront,” Ferguson said. “From bottom to top, it’s going to be new fixtures and flooring and walls – everything is new.”

On the roof of the Oxford Street facility will be a platform where people can take in the ocean view, she noted.

“There will be a set of stairs to go to the top of the building and look out over the water.”

While the renovated museum and the reinstitution of its breezeway to the waterfront are expected to be big draws for visitors and residents alike, Ferguson said another exciting addition to the beach will be improved lighting on the pier – an upgrade scheduled to go before council in May.

“We’re looking at continuing some of the arch work that was started with the ‘Welcome to White Rock’ arch with lighting along the pier,” she said, noting the current lighting is on plain metal bars. “This would be more substantial arches for lighting to sit on.”

Ferguson stressed the importance of not only maintaining Marine Drive’s features, but continuing to find ways to enhance them, as is being done with the washrooms, museum and pier.

“All these things will improve the experience for people on the waterfront to be able to use new facilities and see our museum restored back to its original concept and be able to see the ocean from Marine Drive through the breezeway and continuing to improve and invest in White Rock is really important. I believe we have to recognize the value of what we have here in White Rock.”

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