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Sep. 24, 2020 | Thursday
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New boardwalk will help visitors connect to NOTL fort and lakefront
Workers construct part of the board walk that will stretch from the lakefront up to the entrance to Fort Mississauga, in background. (Kevin MacLean/Niagara Now)

People will soon be able to trek alongside Lake Ontario and then take a walk on the boardwalk to visit Fort Mississauga.

Parks Canada built a massive 600-metre breakwall and gravel roadway along the lakefront last year to combat erosion and stabilize the shoreline on the northern edge of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club.

Now, the final phase of the nearly $5 million federally-funded project is under construction.

A raised cedar boardwalk will run from the end of the roadway, winding through a "historic dry ditch," up to the ramparts of Fort Mississauga and connecting to an existing trail across the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, says Sarah Simpson, a spokesperson for Parks Canada.

New trees and shrubs are being planted on the embankment along the shoreline, but some trees had to be removed in the ditch area to make way for the boardwalk.

The boardwalk "will ensure a safe and enjoyable route for visitors" to reach the fort, Simpson said.

"Once open, the new pathway along the shoreline will be accessible via the parking lot near the corner of Queen and Newark streets or from the gravel pathway from the corner of Front and Simcoe streets," she said.

The shoreline walkway "will offer stunning views of Lake Ontario before connecting to a trail leading to the historic main gates of Fort Mississauga national historic site."

Since the spring of 2018, Parks Canada has spent $4.9 million in federal infrastructure funding to combat shoreline erosion along the north perimeter of the golf course and protect Fort Mississauga, Simpson said in response to questions from The Lake Report.

The federal agency owns the land on which the golf course sits.

"The breakwall will help to protect Fort Mississauga and the historic artifacts along the shorelines on the grounds of Fort Mississauga, while at the same time ensuring public safety," she said.

The work is expected to be finished this fall.

Parks Canada also completed work to stabilize and preserve the structures at the fort.

"Masonry work and waterproofing were performed on the powder magazines, sally port and main gate," she said.

Over the past year, Parks Canada also replaced the fort's leaking roof to allow the structure to dry out, did masonry repairs to the top and corners of the fort, repaired the exterior and interior walls and added solar panels to power new lighting for the fort structure.

The improved access to the fort "will enable Parks Canada to continue to tell the story of Fort Mississauga’s role in the building and protection of our nation, and to share the full scope of our shared history as it relates to the Indigenous peoples who have been present on this land since time immemorial," Simpson said.

The fort was built just after the War of 1812 and was used as a military site until after the Second World War, she noted.

"This unique site reflects 150 years of British and Canadian military activity. Once this project is complete, visitors can experience the serenity of a once-bustling fortification where soldiers trained before being sent overseas, and climb to the top of the earthen walls to connect with stunning historic vistas."

 

 

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