Callander waterfront construction project gets $500,000 boost

dOntario Construction News staff writer

The federal government is contributing $500,000 to help revitalize the waterfront in a Northern Ontario town.

“There are so many things we can do with this funding,” Callander Mayor Greg Noon said at the announcement last Thursday.

“It’s hard for a small municipality like ours to complete these projects alone,” he said, because “you don’t want to raise the taxes, so you have to pick at these large expenditures slowly.”

The revitalization project began with the dock on Lansdowne, which the provincial and federal government also helped fund, and Noon sees that as a “gateway to the municipality from the water.”

Funding will be used to build a boardwalk in Centennial Park, a large gazebo, road improvements and some landscaping.

Noon is excited to “see the vision” materialize from the revitalization plan, after having it only on paper for so many years.

“Centennial Park is such a draw for our businesses, and for our community,” he said, and improving the area “will help turn our park into a destination for tourists.”

That’s what Rota was thinking, too. He mentioned how the federal government has created the Tourism Relief Fund, a fund administered by Canada’s regional deployment agencies and Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada. There is a budget of $500 million over two years to help boost tourism after the devasting effects the pandemic has had—and continues to have—on the industry.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened the challenges many communities face within the tourism sector,” Rota said, but as restrictions loosen and people “are freer to travel,” the federal government is looking at ways to “to support that sector.”

“We know the tourism sector in Nipissing-Timiskaming continues to be one of the most affected by Covid-19,” Rota continued, “and our economy will not fully recover until tourism has too.”

“Our municipality, like so many in Ontario, relies on the tourism industry,” Noon said as he gestured to the many ice fishing huts in the bay, “and as you can see behind us, in our small city of ice shacks, it’s four seasons of tourism in our town.”

The funding “is such an opportunity for us,” he said, and work is set to begin this bring.


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