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Aug. 6, 2020 | Thursday
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With $52,000 raised, Heritage Trail restoration slated to start in spring
The first portion of phase one of the Heritage Trail will move ahead with construction this spring. (Brittany Carter/File Photo)

More than $52,000 has been raised for the restoration of the Upper Canada Heritage Trail and that means work on it will begin this spring.

Rick Meloen, chair of the Heritage Trail Committee, said construction of the first portion of phase one, which runs from John Street to Paffard Street, will start in early spring, with completion expected in June. Work will be done by town staff and involves levelling some of the path and laying a granular surface.

Kevin Turcotte, the town’s manager of parks and recreation, said the section from John to Paffard is now being designed by the engineering department. 

Meloen said the committee received the go-ahead after an archeological study was conducted. Now, the committee is awaiting the results of a forthcoming study on the second portion of phase one, which continues from Paffard Street to East and West Line Road.

“We have considerable funds for that. We’re hoping to raise sufficient funds to complete it to East and West Line Road, which is our target for 2020,” he said.

Meloen said he doesn’t anticipate any issues arising after archeological studies for the rest of trail.

“The railbed and the construction of the railroad itself disturbed anything that would have been in there. It’s very old. So, I don’t see anything aside from railroad stuff,” he said.

Waiting for the study isn’t something he said he’s bothered about.

“Because it is town property, the town has a process for this. We want to follow the process. We are concerned about heritage and archeological stuff is part of the heritage – we can’t deny that.”

Meloen said he’s “very thankful” for the support received up until now, adding that donations from individuals and companies brought the committee this far. Now, more fundraising for the trail is in the works.

Plans are moving forward for a five-kilometre fun run, which Meloen said he hopes will become an annual event.

“We’re very excited about this,” he said. The run, which is still in the very early planning stages, will likely take place along a part of the trail.

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