The Panama Canal. (Wikimedia photo)

ZYTARUK: Canal isn’t Surrey’s first ‘different’ idea

Anyone up for waterskiing in Doug’s Ditch?

homelessphoto

Somebody had to dream up the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Panama Canal. When Noah built the ark, naysayers scoffed – but look what that got them.

Surrey’s Mayor Doug McCallum is now floating the idea of building a canal in Surrey.

Maybe they’ll call it Doug’s Ditch.

He notes Surrey is on a tear as far as growth is concerned, primed to “be innovative and try different things.”

“When you travel around the world and you look at major cities, most of them have some type of waterfront or riverfront or canal front,” McCallum observed at a Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association panel discussion Thursday on the city centre’s future.

As reported online by the Now-Leader’s Lauren Collins, McCallum said water features are a “big crowd pleaser” and if the city could find a “less busy” street, a type of “wandering canal” could be built.

“The idea certainly came to me when I noticed that in Qatar, as I said when I was there, that shopping centres had canals instead of walkways,” he said.

“But if you look at some other cities like Venice and so forth, they have canals that they use for transportation.”

McCallum said he’s presented the idea to a few people, including the engineering department.

“They certainly say it’s thinking outside the box, but they didn’t sort of reject it.”

READ ALSO: Surrey mayor suggests building a canal on ‘less busy’ road

Asked if he has a path in mind, McCallum said not yet. But the canal could start at the Fraser River and end in the “centre part of Surrey.”

“It’s things that I think we need to start looking at. They’re not necessarily innovative because that’s done around the world, but we need to start applying them to our city.”

McCallum has dreamed big dreams before.

In 1997, during his first term as mayor he pitched Whalley as a site for the Molson Indy.

But it was not to be.

He also championed a campaign in 2000 to have the PNE relocated to Bridgeview.

This too did not come to pass.

McCallum is not alone when it comes to “outside the box” ideas. His predecessor, former Surrey mayor Linda Hepner, took it on the chin after announcing in 2014 she’d like to see a big ferris wheel built in Bridgeview.

She referenced it last September – four years later – in her final State of the City address.

“Don’t ever say you want a ferris wheel,” Hepner told her audience, indulging in some good clean self-deprecation.

“Maybe a small carousel, or to be even safer, stick to a pony ride, but not a ferris wheel,” she advised. “Even though the best cities in the world do all seem to have them.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Charges dropped against officer who shot and killed Hudson Brooks in South Surrey

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

‘Men of Curling’ calendar features Surrey’s Tardi, who went rock climbing with a curling rock

Tyler Tardi, 21, now curls on men’s circuit, meaning he won’t play at 2020 nationals in Langley

Here’s why you may not have seen many federal election signs in Surrey

Earlier this year, Surrey council banned election signs on public property, highways

‘Jail’ time for Surrey business and community leaders in Crime Stoppers fundraiser

Metro Vancouver organization to host Jail & Bail event Friday at Central City’s outdoor plaza

Police, volunteers to deliver South Surrey students’ road-safety messages

Elementary designs aim to remind drivers to slow down, pay attention on the road

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

‘We still did not get answers’: Vancouver parents demand expulsion after students’ racist video

‘We were unable to get confirmation from the VSB, but he hasn’t returned as of yet,’ says Marie Tate

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

‘What goes up will come down’: Gas prices spike in Metro Vancouver

Petroleum analyst Dan McTeague says prices will fall Thursday

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read