Published On: Monday, 17 April 2017

Port Alberni Economic Development Firing on all Cylinders

Port Alberni Economic Development Firing on all Cylinders
The City has moved from 38th to 35th on the list of Best Places to Work in BC in 2017.

- Pat Deakin is the Economic Development Manager for the City of Port Alberni. He can be reached at 250.720.2527 or

PORT ALBERNI - After years of hearing talk about the potential of Port Alberni and the inevitability that the rest of the Island’s growth would come here, it seems that Spring has Sprung in Port Alberni, things are heating up and there’s more to come.

  • Twin City Brewing , one of the Top 10 Most Anticipated Breweries in BC in 2017 opened and is getting rave reviews;
  • A ‘reconciliation walk’ from Harbour Quay to City Hall attracted a few hundred people;
  • The West Coast Trail was named as One of World’s 10 Best Hikes;
  • There was a teaser of an announcement about the potential for the Lady Rose Marine Group to introduce car ferry service between Port Alberni, Ucluelet & Bamfield;
  • A reputable developer has made an offer on the former high-school’s 22-acre site. The City has announced a land swap that is aimed at getting rid of one derelict building while creating the opportunity for the expansion of another business. The City has received matching funding for a long stretch of an ‘all abilities shared multi-use path’ and $7 million in grants for an $11 million liquid waste management project;
  • The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce got the Paper Chase (a 10K event) up and running as part of the Island Race Series after a 15-year absence;
  • Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot & the City have announced a second year of the $150,000 Façade Improvement Program that last year resulted in more than $600,000 of improvements;
  • Commercial properties are being sold that ‘weren’t even on the market’;
  • A couple of parties have bought multiple residences;
  • House prices are moving steadily up and we still have Vancouver Island’s Most Affordable Properties;
  • New ‘lifestyle’ businesses are coming to town;
  • An apartment building was bought by an out of town purchaser;
  • Boomerangs cut a deal with the Kiwanis and the City to operate out of a food-safe bus in the parking spaces out in front of their business while it expands and adds a sidewalk patio;
  • A few developers have called on a Monday after making weekend scouting trips to the community;
  • A non-profit group has secured a grant to introduce energy conservation measures in low-income housing; and
  • Port Alberni moved from 38th to 35th on the list of Best Places to Work in BC in 2017.