Young Professionals of Nanaimo spearheaded a restoration project in partnership with the Island Corridor Foundation and Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Area. The partnership succeeded in June of 2009 in raising the required $420,000 to complete the station in large part due to the efforts of the YPN, Blair Mckinnon and the MacKinnon family.
Once rehabilitation is complete VIA Rail’s ticket office will occupy 20% of the space. The other 80% of the building has been rented to tenants Trevor and Jane Ivens from the Fox & Hound English pub. They are currently finishing the inside of the train station to convert it into a traditional Irish pub-style restaurant called Fiber McGee’s! It is our hope of the restaurant owners to have the restaurant open the summer of 2012.
The VIA side of the station is dependent on continued use of passenger rail up and down Vancouver Island. A proposal to improve commuter rail service on Vancouver Island has been accepted from VIA and a revised proposed schedule will travel south from Nanaimo to Victoria at 6 am, returning North to Courtenay, back to Victoria, with its final stop at 6 pm in Nanaimo. This improved rail service currently depends on the federal government accepting to match the Province’s 7.5 million in funding promised last year. There is an urgent need for your immediate participation to maintain rail on Vancouver Island. The federal government will be making a decision during the next several weeks of whether to approve the $7.5M rail infrastructure application the ICF has requested.
The YPN Board of Directors thank you for your past support of the train station rehabilitation. It is our hope to see the Nanaimo Train Station reclaim its role as a transportation hub and economic driver for both Nanaimo and Vancouver Island.