11 October 2010

Stabilizing Fort McNab

As part of the federal government's economic action plan $1 025 000 (actionplan.gc.ca) was earmarked for the "stabilization of selected historic assets within the Fort McNab." Fort McNab was and is falling to pieces and many parts of the cannot be considered safe for unguided public access. The result of the stabilization should provide safe unguided public access to the fort. The work began during in September 2010. I became aware when Friends of McNabs announced via Twitter (Friends of McNabs @Twitter) that the fort would be upgraded, getting a "$1.6 million facelift," and would be closed to the public for the remainder of the year.

It was my assumption that major aspects of the fort's stabilization would include repairs to the crumbling building facades and the limiting of access to areas determined to be unsafe. Most of the access to underground areas was sealed years ago, I assume the remaining tunnels will be closed off as part of efforts to stabilize the fort.

When I visited Fort McNab with a group of close friends late in September 2010 work was already underway. My assumption that work would be done on crumbling building exteriors was confirmed by scaffolding. We were all pleasantly surprised to see much of the brush and overgrowth cut back revealing all kinds of new views.

We had a great time on the island again this year. Every time we visit we find something new or previously overlooked. I still haven't figured out an effective way to carry all of my gear and I have yet to learn how much water is enough. Apparently I need more than three litres for a twenty-four hour stay. We spent the night in tents after hiking through the interior, to McNabs Pond Trail to Strawberry Battery and back out through the Cliff Trail.

Taylor Made Tours (Capt. Steve Taylor, 902-448-4982/902-465-6272, Fisherman's Cove, Eastern Passage) ferried us to and from the island.

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