A controversial proposal to build a hotel walkway over Duckworth Street in St. John's is one step closer to reality.

Council voted Monday night to approve the Marriott Hotel’s pedway project in principle despite concerns that the pedestrian skywalk will mar the city's appearance.

"I cannot see how a pedway is somehow going to irrevocably damage the downtown character by allowing people to move back and forth across a busy street in the worst climate … or the most unpredictable climate in North America," said St. John’s Coun. Gerry Colbert.

The pedway or skywalk is being proposed as a way to connect the existing hotel with a new extension on the other side of Duckworth Street.

Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary says the pedway would erode the city's heritage.

"Not only for the livyers, but also for the tourists that come here because the city is unique and historical," she said.

The proposed extension is now subject to the following conditions:

  • The construction of the hotel extension must be undertaken with the land use assessment report prepared by the PHB Architects Group Inc. dated Aug. 11, 2011 and as presented at the public meeting held on Oct. 6.
  • The submission by the applicant of detailed site, site-servicing and building plans for the review and approval by city staff.
  • The hotel extension must satisfy all applicable requirements of the St. John's Development Regulations, the City's Commercial Maintainance bylaw and the applicable requirements of city departments, including requirements for off-street parking.