Nfld. & Labrador

Group wants St. John's Narrows area protected

Some people in St. John's are calling for action to protect the historic area around the entrance to the capital city's harbour, called The Narrows.
A group is calling for more action to save the historic Narrows area of St. John's. (CBC)

Some people in St. John's are calling for action to protect the historic area around the entrance to the capital city's harbour, called The Narrows.

"It's going to be expensive but it's an endeavor that has to be done," said Ryan Cleary, New Democratic MP for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl and the chair of The Narrows Project.

"When you think about Newfoundland and Labrador, when you think about St. John's, you think about The Narrows — it's iconic. It's representative of our heritage, our culture, where we come from."

The group is concerned with both shores of The Narrows – Fort Amherst on the south side of the harbour's entrance and the historic Battery neighbourhood on the other.

There was a time when anyone could go to Fort Amherst and explore the ruins of a former military installation there, but not anymore: signs saying "do not enter: ruins in disrepair" warn people to keep out.

The old facility has become so eroded that it’s now dangerous to enter it.

"All the military history is literally crumbling into the sea," said Cleary.

On the Battery, long-time resident Chris Brookes says pieces of the past are slowly being chipped away.

The most recent loss is an old fishing wharf that has been replaced by an industrial looking concrete parking lot.

"I'm heartbroken about this place … If you look at what was here three years ago, we've lost so much of our fishing heritage," said Brookes, of the Outer Battery Neighborhood Association.

People concerned about The Narrows are scheduled to meet with St. John’s city officials in February.

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