North Rustico revitalizes tourism landscape
The North Shore P.E.I. town of North Rustico is gathering together funding to make its waterfront more attractive to tourists.
Mayor Anne Kirk, who just saw the community through the process of becoming a town, wants to give tourists more reasons to visit the town, and provide more incentive for its residents to stay there.
"We're planning on revitalizing our community," Kirk told CBC News Tuesday.
"We want North Rustico to be a place where tourists will stop and local people will enjoy."
Kirk has applied for grants from ACOA and the Province. The town plans to convert its waterfront park into a sitting garden, renovate the boardwalk, and build boutique shops that will sell Island-made goods.
The fishing shanties will also get a face lift.
Fisherman Norm Peters, also known as the bearded skipper, has spent decades giving tours on his boat. He said he'll pick up a brush to help the town paint the shanties bright colours. He sees the revitalization as being as much for the town's residents as for tourists.
"We're losing a lot of people, young people, and we need to do something to bring them back," said Peters.
"Have a good place for them to bring up a family."
Peters will also add giving tours of the town to his business.
"We're going to entice them a bit more," he said.
"The old skipper has plans."
"We're doing this not only for tourists," adds Kirk.
"We're doing this for our own community too. You know we have a lot of seniors here … we want to bring them out of isolation."
Kirk said the town needs to wait a couple more weeks to hear if they got the grant funding before starting any major construction. The plan is to finish all revitalization work in time for this summer.