Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia - Where History Meets Opportunity

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FAQs Regarding the Change in Parking at the Town Wharf


FAQs related to the change in Public Parking on the Town Wharf

  1. What has happened?

There will no longer be public parking on the Town Wharf.  There are no other changes.  The wharf is still open to the public.  Further, commercial vehicles servicing fishing boats or related to the Haul-Up are still permitted access (within posted limits).  Public access for fishing, boating, meditating, exercising, enjoying the view, having lunch, or just doing nothing are all still permitted.

  1. What was the process to make this change?

This change has been discussed at Advisory Committee meetings and Council for the past 6 months.  These meetings are open to the public. Agendas are posted in advance on the Town website, and the minutes are posted afterwards.  The process began in the Traffic Flow Advisory Committee and recommendations were sent to Council where the recommendation along with other relevant information was reviewed.

At the April 20th meeting of Council, the following motion was passed: “that Council create a pedestrian-only accessible wharf on which there will be no parking due to weight load restrictions, maintenance requirements, and to reduce potential for liability issues, and to install no parking signage and barrier that can be opened by authorized persons”.

  1. Why was this change made?

Th safety of residents and visitors is the primary concern of Council.  Secondary to this, is the preservation of this valuable Town asset.  Based on the most recent engineering study (2018 by Hatch), “the remaining service life of this structure is 8 to 10 years (2026 to 2028).  After which major repair and/or replacement of the entire structure will be required”. The study details structural concerns and notes that there were multiple areas which could not be assessed.

Other issues raised in the 2018 report:

  • The wharf is in “Fair” condition, meaning “moderate deterioration and/or damage due to the elements. The performance in (sic) not affected. Repair or replacement may be evaluated. s. 3.1
  • There is bowing in the SSP (Structural Steel Sheet Pile) wall in multiple locations, and there is “horizontal displacement” s. 3.1.1
  • Some drain pipes are “crushed or missing” and there are large corroded areas at the base of the SSP wall [which]…display signs of material loss behind the wall. s.3.1.1 Failure of the drains can lead to water pressure build-up behind the walls. s.5
  • The steel tie-back anchors were not visible for inspection s.3.1.2
  • The bolt which secures the waler behind the wall has failed and is missing along the north face near the end of the wharf s.3.1.2
  • The south facing ladders are heavily corroded and many ladder rungs have failed. S.3.1.7
  • Ultrasonic Testing (UT) indicates the thickness of the Steel Piles and the extent of loss due to corrosion. The Piles’ original thickness was 16mm.  UT indicates that Pile thickness is reduced to ~7.5mm in 2 locations and under 10mm in 10 other locations. 3.2 (Table)
  • “Based on the analysis it is recommended that this structure is limited to medium duty commercial trucks”, with a weight restriction of 12 metric tonnes (live load) s.4

Based on these results and recommendations, it was concluded that there are functional limits to the wharf’s capacity and that heavy use would only shorten its life span.  The most recent google earth picture is from a market Saturday last year.  It shows the wharf half-full at 30 cars.  It is generally known that at its peak, the entire wharf can be covered in 3 rows of cars, which could easily be 50 vehicles.  This would equal a load of approximately 100 tonnes. Though it would be unreasonable to assume all those cars would be moving simultaneously, given an average car weight of 2 tons, the dynamic loads of the wharf could be exceeded on a busy day .  Given the high cost of ignoring the safety concerns and a desire to keep the wharf operational as long as possible the decision was made by Council to end public parking.

A copy of the report is available upon request at

  1. When does this change come into effect?

This decision will be in effect before the first market of the season.

  1. If the change is needed, why is it not immediate?

The heaviest use of the wharf is on market days.

  1. Who was consulted when making this change?

In addition to the meetings, the Farmers and Traders Market Association was briefed on the change as they are directly impacted.

  1. How will the wharf be closed?

A series od barrels, spaced 1.5m/5ft apart will be spaced across 10m/32ft of the wharf.  The remaining section of the wharf will be secured with a chain (signed for visibility).  Vehicular access will be available to vehicles servicing commercial fishing vessels, vehicle related to the Haul-Up, and to maintenance vehicles (all within posted limits). The will be a small number on accessible and non-accessible parking spaces on the wharf “apron”

  1. Where can we legally park in Town?

Vehicles may be parked in;

  • The 7 Public Parking Lots, and;
  • along roadways as long as the vehicle does not;
    • impede the flow of traffic;
    • prevent the passage of emergency vehicles;
    • block a fire hydrant;
    • present a danger due to its location;
    • or block access to a driveway, parking lot, or property entrance, and;
    • the area is not posted “no parking”.
  • “Double parking” is never permitted.
  1. Why did the Town not respond to the comments on Facebook?

There are residents in Annapolis Royal without online access or who choose not to take part in social media.  While questions which can be answered briefly may be addressed, town business is not conducted via social media.

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