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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2018, 2:30 PM
jjavman jjavman is offline
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St. John's Tourism

Doc O'Keefe is quoted today as having opined for more Cruise Ship promotion. Something I've also wondered.
I think this question also begs attention to the greater waterfront in general.

http://vocm.com/news/former-st-johns...-cruise-ships/

We have a beautiful waterfront (despite the fence), and it needs to be enhanced with features such as a boardwalk, tourism outlets, etc.
I always thought the leasable chalets down there before the restaurants, were a start, but they disappeared with restaurants in the offing, and I hear some vandalism.
What we have there now(apart from the restaurants), is a gaunt industrial bowl of ships on both sides, without any of the historic maritime flavour of St. John's Harbour.
The little harbour park next to pilot boat is nice, but too small and squat between industry.

I know this is a federal issue but; I've also wondered why the finger piers of the early century were not recreated.
The harbour is wide, and besides adding berths, it would add space for floating restaurants, historic schooners, etc.

on Doc's point particularly, there could be provincial money for coves and inlets close by St. John's, to enhance the offerings for cruise ship passengers in tourism attractions.
As the article states, we are again being out promoted, and out spent by the other Maritime Canadian jurisdictions!

Last edited by jjavman; Aug 27, 2018 at 2:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2018, 1:21 AM
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Marty_Mcfly Marty_Mcfly is online now
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I've never understood Doc's obsession with cruse ships, considering they actually contribute a lot less to our local economy than he would like you to think.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2018, 12:10 PM
Larla77 Larla77 is offline
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The money that the cruise ship industry currently brings to the City isn't through passenger speeding. Or at least most of it isn't. Most of it is docking fees to the Harbour Authority, fuel purchases, waste removal services, provisions purchases and shore excursions (busing, tour guides, tour companies, taxis, etc). Homeporting is where the big money and spinoffs are (hotel stays, meals, etc). Right now St. John's Airport doesn't have the lift capacity to do that for large ships as you have like 3000 people trying to fly in and another 3000 flying in. Halifax doesn't have that. We can do it for the smaller ships though and should be doing more of it.
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Old Posted Aug 28, 2018, 12:57 PM
thevan thevan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjavman View Post
Doc O'Keefe is quoted today as having opined for more Cruise Ship promotion. Something I've also wondered.
I think this question also begs attention to the greater waterfront in general.

http://vocm.com/news/former-st-johns...-cruise-ships/

We have a beautiful waterfront (despite the fence), and it needs to be enhanced with features such as a boardwalk, tourism outlets, etc.
I always thought the leasable chalets down there before the restaurants, were a start, but they disappeared with restaurants in the offing, and I hear some vandalism.
What we have there now(apart from the restaurants), is a gaunt industrial bowl of ships on both sides, without any of the historic maritime flavour of St. John's Harbour.
The little harbour park next to pilot boat is nice, but too small and squat between industry.

I know this is a federal issue but; I've also wondered why the finger piers of the early century were not recreated.
The harbour is wide, and besides adding berths, it would add space for floating restaurants, historic schooners, etc.

on Doc's point particularly, there could be provincial money for coves and inlets close by St. John's, to enhance the offerings for cruise ship passengers in tourism attractions.
As the article states, we are again being out promoted, and out spent by the other Maritime Canadian jurisdictions!
Re. the reinstating of the finger piers: it's really all up to the SJ Port Authority as they own the land. Despite the reason for its existence being entirely fraudulent, the only way to improve the situation is for the city to crack a deal them. This is what happened in Halifax and it's absolutely wonderful down there now.

There's only 14 who work in the building there, so it shouldn't be too hard, but I have a good feeling there's some mad corruption going down in there. In theory they are responsible to Transport Canada but I imagine they're pretty hands-off about it.

Last edited by thevan; Aug 31, 2018 at 7:06 PM.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2018, 2:17 PM
Larla77 Larla77 is offline
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Difficult to compare with Halifax as their harbour is one of the largest in the world. But more could be done here to make the harbour and Harbour Drive more attractive to visitors and locals. There seems to be a new dock being built down by the Harbour Authority building and it looks very much like a finger pier so maybe this is a step in the right direction. Those little kiosks were a great idea but never really got off the ground. I don't know if it was marketing or simply that people weren't interested. The restaurants at least bring people into the area.

Harbour Drive really created a wedge between the commerce area of downtown (Water Street) and the waterfront. That connection isn't there anymore like it is in the Historic Properties area of Halifax (love it there). I've always thought that getting rid of the piers completely was a mistake. There was a proposal at one point to develop a port in Freshwater Bay with a tunnel connecting it to St. John's proper but that didn't go anywhere. That could have expanded available berthage in the area and moved some of the commercial users (such as Harveys) out of the historic harbour area. Then cruise ships could move into that area and the Harbour Drive area could be developed.

Downtown is in big trouble. Businesses are moving out of the area (Model Shop, Whink) and the only new businesses that seem to be opening down there are pot shops.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2018, 4:05 PM
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The problem is broader than just piers. It's that the downtown core/harbour front is trying be multiple things at once when there isn't nearly enough room for it. Between the topography of the area and NIMBYism there is only a small strip in the downtown core so there has to be more focus on what it should be.

I think at one time it probably made sense for the harbour front to act as a typical downtown core but in my opinion it needs to choose whether it's a productivity/working area or a tourist/entertainment area. And in my mind it should be rezoned and designed as a tourist/entertainment/retail district only. Like why are there office buildings in the along the harbour front? That brings hundreds of workers....that then requires parking spaces...into this crammed area of arguably prime real estate. Some lawyer or executive working in an office all day does not need to be on the harbour front. I'm sure tourists sailing into the harbour they are just in awe of Atlantic Place and the ugly parking garage smack dab in the middle of the downtown...

Downtown only has so much space and it should be hotels/bars/restaurants/small retail shops/music/sports(mile one) with an accessible harbour-front and the entire area designed for walking and public transit in mind.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 12:59 PM
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Just a few, unrelated-to-anything observations as an outsider that has only spent 5 days in St. John's in 30 years:

We liked the downtown quite a bit. The obvious comparisons that spring to mind is Halifax... similar architecture (other than your cuter houses), hilly as heck, but not quite as "deep"... once you get off Duckworth/Water, you're into the houses. That's not a bad thing, the downtown is nice and dense; you can walk the whole thing rather easily. There are TONS of opportunities for more businesses and shops... I have no idea if that's because stuff has left to the burbs/edges (probably?) or some other reason. Lots of potential.

I can't comment on whether or not it's busier/less-busy than it used to be, and we never stayed out later than 8pm (so only saw George St. before it "got going") but Duckworth/Water seemed pretty "sleepy". About on par with Moncton (which is pretty sleepy). Some nice shops and lots of good restaurants and pubs, interspersed with some rather dodgy looking ones; but you get that everywhere.

St. John's was MUCH more sprawly, overall than I expected. For some reason I was expecting the core to be a bit larger. When we took a few taxis across town (had to run to the mall, airport, etc) and some day-tours (Cape Spear, Petty Harbour, Flat Rock, etc) I was surprised at how nigh-impossible it was to tell where the city "stopped". Looking at the map, I can see why. Moncton definitely has sprawl issues, but I think St. John's might be a bunch worse... it's like a giant crescent. I know this kind of thing just happens, but it was really weird driving around in it.

The scenery was great, but by far the best part was the people. So friendly and down to earth. The fashion was... interesting. Let's just say you've got a lot of very self-confident ladies, and that's a good thing, I think. Lots of dresses being worn at the mall, that kind of thing. Had great conversations with the restaurant wait-staff, tour-bus driver and Metro Link driver, who chatted us up whenever we were waiting for hop-ons at the regular stops throughout town.

It drove my wife (S. Ont born) absolutely bonkers that though I've been to NL only half a dozen times in my life (and the last time to St. John's was 30 years ago) that I'm considered a Newfoundlander by the locals because I was born at the Grace back in '72. Bus driver asked if she'd been "screeched in" and she said she would if I would, and the driver said "he don't have to." LOL.

Love those folks!
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 1:56 PM
jjavman jjavman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorkuta View Post
Just a few, unrelated-to-anything observations as an outsider that has only spent 5 days in St. John's in 30 years ....
Great observation, and meaningful from a non-resident.
Thanks !

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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 7:05 PM
thevan thevan is offline
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Originally Posted by goodgrowth View Post
The problem is broader than just piers. It's that the downtown core/harbour front is trying be multiple things at once when there isn't nearly enough room for it. Between the topography of the area and NIMBYism there is only a small strip in the downtown core so there has to be more focus on what it should be.

I think at one time it probably made sense for the harbour front to act as a typical downtown core but in my opinion it needs to choose whether it's a productivity/working area or a tourist/entertainment area. And in my mind it should be rezoned and designed as a tourist/entertainment/retail district only. Like why are there office buildings in the along the harbour front? That brings hundreds of workers....that then requires parking spaces...into this crammed area of arguably prime real estate. Some lawyer or executive working in an office all day does not need to be on the harbour front. I'm sure tourists sailing into the harbour they are just in awe of Atlantic Place and the ugly parking garage smack dab in the middle of the downtown...

Downtown only has so much space and it should be hotels/bars/restaurants/small retail shops/music/sports(mile one) with an accessible harbour-front and the entire area designed for walking and public transit in mind.
I just wanted to mostly agree with you on this. The amount of space taken up by these office towers and their parking lots is atrocious (even more so when you consider that where they stood there were once rowhouses and shops and the like; whole neighbourhoods.) I can think of no good reason why such things need to be in the downtown core rather than up on Kelsey Drive, Hebron Way, etc., where parking is plentiful.
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Old Posted Aug 31, 2018, 9:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorkuta View Post
Just a few, unrelated-to-anything observations as an outsider that has only spent 5 days in St. John's in 30 years:

We liked the downtown quite a bit. The obvious comparisons that spring to mind is Halifax... similar architecture (other than your cuter houses), hilly as heck, but not quite as "deep"... once you get off Duckworth/Water, you're into the houses. That's not a bad thing, the downtown is nice and dense; you can walk the whole thing rather easily. There are TONS of opportunities for more businesses and shops... I have no idea if that's because stuff has left to the burbs/edges (probably?) or some other reason. Lots of potential.

I can't comment on whether or not it's busier/less-busy than it used to be, and we never stayed out later than 8pm (so only saw George St. before it "got going") but Duckworth/Water seemed pretty "sleepy". About on par with Moncton (which is pretty sleepy). Some nice shops and lots of good restaurants and pubs, interspersed with some rather dodgy looking ones; but you get that everywhere.

St. John's was MUCH more sprawly, overall than I expected. For some reason I was expecting the core to be a bit larger. When we took a few taxis across town (had to run to the mall, airport, etc) and some day-tours (Cape Spear, Petty Harbour, Flat Rock, etc) I was surprised at how nigh-impossible it was to tell where the city "stopped". Looking at the map, I can see why. Moncton definitely has sprawl issues, but I think St. John's might be a bunch worse... it's like a giant crescent. I know this kind of thing just happens, but it was really weird driving around in it.

The scenery was great, but by far the best part was the people. So friendly and down to earth. The fashion was... interesting. Let's just say you've got a lot of very self-confident ladies, and that's a good thing, I think. Lots of dresses being worn at the mall, that kind of thing. Had great conversations with the restaurant wait-staff, tour-bus driver and Metro Link driver, who chatted us up whenever we were waiting for hop-ons at the regular stops throughout town.

It drove my wife (S. Ont born) absolutely bonkers that though I've been to NL only half a dozen times in my life (and the last time to St. John's was 30 years ago) that I'm considered a Newfoundlander by the locals because I was born at the Grace back in '72. Bus driver asked if she'd been "screeched in" and she said she would if I would, and the driver said "he don't have to." LOL.

Love those folks!
Really fun to read - thanks for sharing. :-)
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2018, 12:28 PM
jjavman jjavman is offline
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Scademia

I'd really like to know both sides to this story.

http://www.thetelegram.com/news/loca...stakes-239010/

Here we had the only tour boat which looks "historic", was used for decades, and then denied a permit to operate, while others were given exclusive access.
Was this influenced by personal differences between Mr. Anonson and the head of the Port Authority?

The impending lawsuit next year, should bring more clarification.
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2018, 6:59 PM
Larla77 Larla77 is offline
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Originally Posted by jjavman View Post
I'd really like to know both sides to this story.

http://www.thetelegram.com/news/loca...stakes-239010/

Here we had the only tour boat which looks "historic", was used for decades, and then denied a permit to operate, while others were given exclusive access.
Was this influenced by personal differences between Mr. Anonson and the head of the Port Authority?

The impending lawsuit next year, should bring more clarification.
Honestly I'm surprised the boat hasn't sank yet. The J&B Schooner had a great tour out of the harbour as well. There are currently 2 boat operators who offer tours out of the harbour (Iceberg Quest and Dee Jay Charters). It sounded like he was saying there was only one in the article.
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Old Posted Sep 7, 2018, 9:28 PM
jjavman jjavman is offline
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Honestly I'm surprised the boat hasn't sank yet. The J&B Schooner had a great tour out of the harbour as well. There are currently 2 boat operators who offer tours out of the harbour (Iceberg Quest and Dee Jay Charters). It sounded like he was saying there was only one in the article.
There is only one.
The smaller one was recently purchased by the larger outfit.
Names on the shacks haven't changed.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 8, 2019, 5:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Marty_Mcfly View Post
I've never understood Doc's obsession with cruse ships, considering they actually contribute a lot less to our local economy than he would like you to think.
Victoria certainly doesn't seem to have much issue...record breaking numbers and a lot of tourism dollars flexing in.
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2019, 12:05 PM
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"Bonanza" Cruise Season Expected

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Old Posted Mar 18, 2019, 1:57 PM
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Meanwhile, Sydney NS will get twice that number, almost 100 visits including the Queen Mary 2. What accounts for this large number of visits to compared to St. John's? What is it a small city (35,000 population) like Sydney has that we don't, can't be history, scenery, welcoming, etc?
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2019, 6:56 PM
thevan thevan is offline
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Meanwhile, Sydney NS will get twice that number, almost 100 visits including the Queen Mary 2. What accounts for this large number of visits to compared to St. John's? What is it a small city (35,000 population) like Sydney has that we don't, can't be history, scenery, welcoming, etc?
Maybe a harbour where you can actually walk along the water without feeling like a prisoner?

Contrast https://www.capebretonpost.com/media...7741_large.jpg with http://theindependent.ca/wp-content/...rbourFence.jpg
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Old Posted Mar 18, 2019, 10:22 PM
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Sydney is also on a route that involves Halifax, Quebec City and Boston, we are too far off the beaten path. We get a few "repositioning" routes to and from Europe.
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2019, 1:32 AM
jjavman jjavman is offline
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Maybe a harbour where you can actually walk along the water without feeling like a prisoner?

Contrast https://www.capebretonpost.com/media...7741_large.jpg with http://theindependent.ca/wp-content/...rbourFence.jpg
Exactly right. Even N. Sydney has much more to offer than either P.A.B. or Argentia (no brainer), for waiting Marine Atlantic customers!
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2019, 7:31 PM
Larla77 Larla77 is offline
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Sydney is also on a route that involves Halifax, Quebec City and Boston, we are too far off the beaten path. We get a few "repositioning" routes to and from Europe.
Exactly this. Same with Saint John, New Brunswick. They get lots of traffic because of proximity to major routes from places like Boston/New York/Quebec City.
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