SAINT JOHN – Fort LaTour, a large mostly barren patch of land on the Saint John waterfront will soon have building replicas of old forts, walking paths and an outdoor amphitheatre, thanks to more than $1.2-million in funding from three levels of government and Port Saint John.
The announcement was made Friday morning at the Fort LaTour site on Harbour Passage.
Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John-Rothesay, says the investment will develop a site of historic importance to the city and a tourism asset.
“We’ve all walked Harbour Passage, we’ve all walked by where Fort LaTour was. It was basically recognized by six logs and a long grassy field,” said Long in an interview with Huddle. “With more than $1.2-million invested, we can start this project, build a Fort LaTour Village. This will be a key tourism destination.”
“It’s a perfect example of a proponent moving a project forward,” said Long. “Beth Kelly Hatt and Andy Dixon have been working on this for years. When I came into office they met with me, and it was a no-brainer. I ran for office on revitalizing, remarketing and rebuilding our historic assets.”
Hatt, Chair of the Fort La Tour Development Authority, says the redevelopment will honour the historic roots of the various communities that have ties to the site.
“It is with great pleasure that after so many years of hard work by so many, this project is finally becoming reality,” said Hatt in a statement. “Fort LaTour has deep cultural and historic roots for the First Nations, Francophone communities and Loyalist Settlers to Saint John and we all share a special connection. This will be an important investment into a modern tourism and educational interpretation center.”
— Port Saint John (@PortSaintJohn) June 22, 2018
The revitalized site will become a tourist draw for cruise ship passengers and other visitors, said Mayor Don Darling.
“The city of Saint John is thrilled that we will be bringing this important part of our past back to life and that our tourism assets will be enhanced,” he said.
ACOA is investing $475,000 in non-repayable assistance towards this project through its Innovative Communities Fund (ICF), while the Province of New Brunswick is contributing $400,000, the City of Saint John is contributing $200,000 and the Port of Saint John is contributing $100,000.
Construction will begin in July and complete for the tourism season in the summer of 2019.
Here is a video rendering of the proposed redevelopment:
“It is with great pleasure that after so many years of hard work by so many, this project is finally becoming reality. Fort La Tour has deep cultural and historic roots for the First Nations, Francophone communities and Loyalist Settlers to Saint John and we all share a special connection. This will be an important investment into a modern tourism and educational interpretation center.”- Beth Hatt, Chair, Fort La Tour Development Authority
Posted by Fort LaTour on Friday, June 22, 2018