Major marina expansion underway in Prince Rupert

June 11, 2015

Sailors and cruisers along B.C.’s North Coast will soon have a new place to tie-up for the night thanks to a major expansion of the Cow Bay Marina in Prince Rupert.

Northern Development has approved a $250,000 grant to help develop a new 51-slip marina located adjacent to the existing Prince Rupert Yacht Club in Cow Bay, the city’s shopping and tourism district. In addition to the moorage space, the city plans to build a 700’ x 12’ breakwater wharf that will provide community access to the waterfront. The new marina will become one of only a few moorages for the recreational boating community along the northern stretch of British Columbia’s famous Inside Passage.

Prince Rupert’s inner harbor has the most readily accessible amenities of any moorage north of Vancouver Island, and the marina expansion will generate new economic activity for the city. The average vessel party spends $279 per day in Prince Rupert’s local economy, which is almost twice the provincial average, according to research conducted by the B.C. Ocean Boating Tourism Association.

The new marina is estimated to increase annual spending in the local economy by up to $3 million in the next five years. The marina will be owned by the city will be operated without subsidies. The $250,000 grant from Northern Development was approved through the Trust’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program, which provides capital for projects that generate a lasting economic legacy for communities in central and northern B.C.

In the past, the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program has been used to provide funding for airport upgrades, boat launch improvements, tourism and visitor information centres and arenas, among other projects. Northern Development next deadline for funding applications is August 14. Other funding sources for the project include: City of Prince Rupert, Ridley Terminals, Gitxaala Nation, Prince Rupert Port Authority, Coast Sustainability Trust, Community Futures Pacific Northwest, Northern Savings Credit Union and the Government of Canada.


“This marina expansion will attract more recreational boaters to Prince Rupert, increasing local spending and supporting economic diversification along the North Coast,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development.

“Having no berthing space to accommodate, Prince Rupert has missed opportunities with the boating community and their dollars sailing on by. The marina expansion provides a real chance to capture that market. The wharf provides much needed waterfront access to residents of Prince Rupert as well for attracting tourists. Prince Rupert and the northwest have astounding tourism assets that can now be better accessed with the Cow Bay marina project,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast.

“This expansion will be a strong enabler for the city, providing a boost for the local economy and enticing more sea-goers on B.C.’s beautiful North Coast. This is a great day for Prince Rupert,” said Nathan Cullen, MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley.

“The Cow Bay Marina will provide greater accessibility to Prince Rupert’s waterfront and create a harbour that’s welcoming to visitors, while serving the growing demand for facilities along the North Coast. Northern Development’s $250,000 contribution will help create a long term legacy for Prince Rupert, which will result in additional visitors to the community that will have a significant impact on our economy,” said Paul Vendittelli, Economic Development Officer, Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Corporation.

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Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust