Cameron Road (not Museum Way, as previously and erroneously reported) is one of the shortest uphill-streets in the downtown area, kind of a hideaway, with the old museum, now the military museum, at the top of the incline. Looking back down one can see the backside of the Casino and the Convention Centre. The latter replaced a number of old buildings along Commercial Street, some with a heritage connotation, but most of them were looking decrepit, particularly from this side. Although subject to much criticism, in my opinion, the Convention Centre is a vast improvement to the downtown ambience and a real asset to Nanaimo in general.
Many buildings have a front with “architectural treatment” and flat industrial looking backside. The casino building , originally a Simpsons-Sears store from the 1950’s with a flat concrete wall along Cameron Road is a typical example of this. Major renovations to make it a casino prompted decorative enhancements to the rear elevation, that are still there today.
What is left to do for improvement is the vacant Hotel site; a project that comes and goes. How about using it for a temporary public green space with rock climbing facilities?
I sketched this on Sunday morning as it is a challenging view and a quite spot from where I could hear the sounds of the annual Pride Parade preparations on Commercial Street in the background.