Improvements to the TSW Fenelon Site
Submitted by Chris Appleton
Many will have noticed that the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) has been very active on the Fenelon site over the 2017/2018 season. Both sets of lock doors have been rehabilitated and painted, and the canal operations are in great shape. With the recent improvements to the upper reach dockage, boaters now have a first class facility at their disposal.
The TSW has also been active elsewhere on the site. Senior TSW staff met with community volunteers to review the condition of the property, and action was initiated, including the following:
The concrete sidewalk in the lower gorge have been repaired, and the flatlands re-
landscaped for better public use.
The south gorge wall adjacent to the Perch Restaurant parking lot has been reinforced, and the old fencing replaced with galvanized steel.
The wooden floor of the falls-viewing platform has been replaced, and improved handrails are being installed.
All of the old chain link fencing has been upgraded to galvanized steel.
The east concrete steps to the pedestrian underpass have been repaired, and new handrails installed.
The road in front of the former Stokes store on the north side of the canal has been repaired.
The old guardrail along the west side of the road in front of the lock control hut has been replaced by fresh posts, with easier pedestrian access.
Two marker buoys mark the entrance to the site driveway.
A rental bike-share program has been installed.
All in all, a very active year for site improvements, and the property is looking much better.
The TSW has also been cooperating with community groups to support local initiatives. For example, the Horticultural Society continues to add and maintain beautiful gardens on site. Butterfly benches abound. Simcoe Day was a huge success. Senior TSW officials have been very responsive to local concerns, and there is a good working relationship with community volunteers.
In the future, there is great interest in further site development. The TSW intends to consult with the community when site planning gets underway, hopefully in 2019. Making this property even more valuable and accessible for Fenelon Falls residents and visitors can only enhance its importance as a central feature in town. In conjunction with the initiatives being undertaken in connection with the Downtown Revitalization Program, and with the many individual efforts from local businesses and volunteer groups, Fenelon is indeed experiencing a positive revival.
Let’s keep up the momentum in 2019 and beyond.