The first passenger train into Port Alberni arrived on December 20, 1911. That train opened the first real doors of communication to the outside world.
It also displaced 14 First Nations from their lands, but that’s a story for another time.
Now, 111 years later, the City of Port Alberni is asking for help from the public. They’re trying to decide what to do with the station that brought the first wave of settlers to the region.
This heritage property at the corner of Argyle Street and Kingsway Avenue hasn’t been used much since 2018. Though the city is making important seismic upgrades.
The city wants to lease the building to the person with the most jaw-dropping proposal on how to bring it new life and purpose.
The city is taking proposals from businesses, individuals, groups, organizations, and social enterprises.
“Give us your best idea. Tell us how you would transform this iconic site into a new, thriving business.”
Port Alberni has been ramping up their efforts to support local business and increase economic movement in the city. They recently laid out plans for mixed-use developments, parks, and the iconic port.
Pat Deakin is the city’s economic development manager. According to the Times Colonist, Deakin reported they are “flush with space.”
“The possibilities are endless, I think.”
The opportunity to bid on leasing the station closes June 17, so it’s time to polish that proposal.
You can submit a proposal on the cities website at The City of Port Alberni website.