Granthams Wharf rebuild underway

A rebuild project is underway for the wharf at Granthams Landing that was severely damaged during an intense windstorm in December.

Several pilings and a dolphin and beams to support the wharf platform needed replacing in addition to other fixes after the Dec. 20 storm, according to consultants from Green Wave Marine Services, who assessed the damage.

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The extensive rebuild, which required heavy equipment and professional construction work, is “beyond the ability of our community volunteer labour,” according to an email update circulated by the Granthams Wharf Association (GWA).

Green Wave used their pile-driving barge to install 10 pilings last week, in addition to other repairs. The two pilings closest to shore will be dug in and backfilled by Keats Island Construction, which will also be repositioning the platform. “It looks really solid, it’s encouraging for sure,” said GWA president Tony Bonnici of the work.

The repairs are estimated to cost up to $35,000. As of Feb. 11, the association had received approximately $16,000. “I’m pleased with the response, but we still have a ways to go,” Bonnici told Coast Reporter.

He said the association took “a little bit of a leap of faith” and got started with repairs despite not having enough funds to cover all costs because a space had opened up in Green Wave’s work schedule. Otherwise the project would have been delayed for months.

“Based on the funds that have already come in and the fundraising initiatives we have planned, the GWA is confident we will be able to cover it,” said Bonnici. Several activities are underway and a “Raise the Wharf” benefit concert has been scheduled for March 16 at Gibsons Public Market.

Because the association has liability insurance only, they are not anticipating financial relief from an insurance claim.

The association is also seeking funding from grant-giving bodies, including the Sunshine Coast Regional District. While the regional district maintains nine ports on the Sunshine Coast, the longstanding community-operated wharf at Granthams is not one of them.

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The SS Lady Evelyn unloading passengers at Grantham’s Landing in 1931 during the height of the Steamship era. A community organization later purchased the wharf for $1. - Helen McCall Photo, courtesy of Granthams Wharf Association

It was originally built after Frederick Charles Grantham purchased the land in 1909 from George Gibson’s son-in-law George Glassford. In the 1920s, the federal government built a permanent wharf to replace the original floating structure. The wharf became a destination for steamships and summer cottagers, but fell into disrepair as the steamship era came to a close. It was slated to be demolished when a community association purchased it for $1 in 1962. The wharf has since been maintained and operated by the GWA.

“It’s a community meeting place, it’s a major hub for people,” said Bonnici, adding that residents use it to launch and access their watercrafts, to fish and to socialize. “It holds the community together.”

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