K’ómoks First Nation is having its say on the design of the Mack Laing viewing platform.

Last week, a group that included Mayor Russ Arnott presented the platform design to KFN.

The two groups had what the town called a ‘robust conversation’ about the  platform at Mack Laing Park.

Discussion included suggestions on how to incorporate a First Nations theme into the design.

This included the possibility of changing the steel support structures to cedar poles.

Another suggestion was the inclusion of totem poles to signify K’omox First Nation occupation of the lands before Shakesides was built.

Comox council members formally approved the proposed Shakesides viewing platform in May.

Council decided to move forward the town’s court application to modify the Mack Laing Trust.

The town’s original proposal to the court was to disassemble Mack Laing’s former home, Shakesides, and use the money from the trust to construct a viewing site/platform in its place.

The final design for the proposed viewing platform came from feedback gathered from a public meeting/workshop on March 27.

Some of the features of the re-design includes:

  • a partial roof, a steel frame that supports the roof assembly,
  • a boardwalk that will formalize the link between Baybrook, (Mack Laing’s first home) and the proposed viewpoint at Shakesides (his second home),
  • and a railing at the front of the platform, which mimics the distinctive railing of Shakesides.

However, the Mack Laing Heritage Society is pushing for the preservation of ‘Shakesides’ with the intention of converting it into a nature house.