The City of Kamloops will be working to create a new neighbourhood plan for the McGill Corridor this year. This post is part of a series is to highlight the unique history, geography, culture and potential of this rapidly changing neighbourhood before the planning process takes place. Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union (TRUSU) understands the impact that the proposed changes could have on students, as well as the broader campus community. TRUSU is committed to doing everything we can to share information, start discussions, and connect people to engage in this process. To stay informed about opportunities to provide feedback to the city on the McGill Corridor plan, sign-up at the end of this post. 

One of the main challenges for Kamloopsians in moving towards active transportation options such as walking and cycling is the steep geography of our city.  

TRU has a select few neighbourhoods nearby that facilitate active transportation, but for a large number of residents who live Downtown, on the North Shore, or in other nearby neighbourhoods, the McGill Corridor can often feel like it’s on a mountaintop.  

The North Shore in particular is a growing neighbourhood that an increasing number of people call home. It is one of the most affordable neighbourhoods, is close the river, and has a growing number of restaurants, pubs and other exciting amenities.  

The Portland Gondola connects the Waterfront District to Oregon Health & Science University. Photo by Wikipedia

The North Shore is also one of the flattest parts of Kamloops, which encourages people to get out of their vehicles and start walking or cycling to their destination.  

But accessing the university from the North Shore often involves either multiple buses or a commute across the increasingly congested bridge. Walking or cycling to campus is out of the question for all but the most dedicated commuters.  

But other cities have come up with an innovative solution: the Gondola. 

It sounds like an outlandish idea, but it’s an idea increasingly seen in North American cities, particularly for connecting campuses.  

Portland built a gondola that connects their waterfront district to the Oregon Health & Science University. This is essentially what a gondola from TRU to the North Shore would do for Kamloops – connect our waterfront district to our campus. 

Even closer to home, in Burnaby, there is a proposal moving forward to build a Gondola to Simon Fraser University (SFU). In the words of the proponents of the project, “It’s cost-effective. It’s better for the environment. And it provides reliable service year-round — even when it snows. A Burnaby Mountain Gondola will make life better for everyone — students, employees, visitors and the entire community.”  

So why not dream big here in Kamloops?  

This project would fundamentally change our city by creating new transportation corridors between two of the most exciting and rapidly developing parts of Kamloops — the McGill Corridor and the North Shore.  

In Fall 2021, we will be encouraging all interested students, faculty, staff and community members to share their visions for the future of the McGill Corridor. If you want to be notified when there are updates on the McGill Corridor plan or opportunities for you to provide feedback to the City of Kamloops, please enter your information below.


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