Mack Laing Nature Park
This beautiful oceanfront property was originally owned by Hamilton Mack Laing, who built his home (Shakesides) here in 1950. In 1973, he gave the waterfront property to the Town of Comox to be used for the public’s enjoyment as a nature park, and since 1983, the Town of Comox has operated Mack Laing Nature Park, adding trails and interpretive signs to foster the public’s appreciation of nature.
In 2009, the Town of Comox, together with the Nature Trust of British Columbia, purchased three parcels of neighbouring land (including Mack Laing’s former property Baybrook) to expand the public greenspace along Brooklyn Creek and the Comox waterfront.
Hamilton Mack Laing (1883-1982) was a prolific naturalist, photographer, writer, artist and noted ornithologist, whose work from the Comox waterfront since 1922 earned him worldwide recognition.
Find the park on this map here.
In gifting his property to the Town of Comox, Mack Laing intended it to be used for public enjoyment, namely recreation and conservation. While Mr. Laing’s wished to see Shakesides turned into a natural history museum, it is not feasible with the funds left to the Town in his will (1982). As such the Town is proposing an alternative option that aims to carry forward his goals of public education.
RECENT NEWS / UPDATES
- May 2019 – Proposed Viewing Platform – Public Notice Community Update #2 - see below
- April 2019 – Proposed Viewing Platform – Public Notice Community Update #1
- March 2019 – Public Engagement Meeting/Workshop – Summary of Feedback - see below
- March 2019 – Public Engagement Meeting/Workshop – Open Invitation
- July 2018 – Update / Info Sheet
- 2017 - Plan for the Park - see below
FOR MORE INFORMATION
May 2019 - Proposed Viewing Platform - Community Update #2
Following the Town’s public engagement meeting/workshop held on March 27, 2019 and the feedback received, a redesign of the proposed viewing platform was undertaken.
While members of the Committee, at its Committee of the Whole meeting held May 8, 2019 received the design update from Outlook Engineering & Landscape Architecture, the Town continues to welcome comments and feedback from members of the public on the redesign proposal.
March 2019 - Public Engagement Meeting/Workshop - Summary of Feedback
Approximately 80 citizens of the Town of Comox joined members of Council, senior management and others in an active workshop held at the Comox Community Centre to contribute to the future of Mack Laing Nature Park.
While Council has resolved to move forward with the Town’s court application to modify the trust and use trust money to construct a viewing site/platform, Council wanted to hear your ideas for the Mack Laing Nature Park before asking the court to accept the Town’s proposal.
Results from the workshop were reviewed and a report summarizing the comments and submissions received prepared for Council’s consideration at its Regular Meeting on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
Individuals who were unable to attend the workshop are encouraged to access the PRESENTATION referred to in the meeting/workshop.
2017 – Plan for the Park
In 2017, the Town of Comox made application to the B.C. Supreme Court for an order varying the trust applicable to the money so as to allow funds to be used for construction and maintenance of a viewing platform on the site of Shakesides, once Shakesides has been removed. The platform would have a height and roofline replicating Shakesides and incorporate some materials from the building.
The Town of Comox’s application remains before the Court, with the next court date scheduled for October 2018.