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Province Investing in Visitor Safety at Brown’s Bay Beach

$3.1 million to support much-needed capital repairs and construction at Brown’s Bay Beach and Picnic Area

MALLORYTOWN — The Ontario government is providing the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) with more than $5 million in capital funding to help repair and rehabilitate its facilities. This investment will help encourage and reinvigorate tourism in eastern Ontario, including $3.1 million to support much-needed capital repairs and construction at Brown’s Bay Beach and Picnic Area.

The announcement was made at Brown’s Bay Beach today by Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. She was joined by Bob Runciman, Chair of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC), SLPC General Manager and CEO Hollee Kew, and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and MPP for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, for the announcement.

“When the COVID-19 outbreak began, Ontario’s tourism industry was among the first and hardest hit,” said Minister MacLeod. “By supporting the St. Lawrence Parks Commission with the capital funding they need, we can ensure that the thousands of acres of parkland and attractions along the St. Lawrence Corridor will remain world-class destinations that provide safe, family-friendly opportunities to enjoy Ontario’s great outdoors. As Ontario deals with the impacts of COVID-19, it’s important we invest in tourism in our local communities to support their short- and long-term recovery.”

Through the ministry’s $24.87 million Capital Repair and Rehabilitation program, SLPC will receive more than $5 million to support critical infrastructure needs, including much-needed repairs and/or replacement of older end-of-life infrastructure – ensuring their facilities and attractions are compliant with current standards and ready for visitors. This includes $3.1 million for capital repairs at the Brown’s Bay Beach site, to support projects such as:

  • Construction of a new canteen and accessible, gender-neutral washrooms/changerooms to replace older on-site facilities.
  • Reconstruction of a portion of the seawall along Brown’s Bay Beach to ensure visitor safety and security. This includes the creation of a perched beach and ramping to help guests with mobility issues enter the water.
  • Construction of a new sewage disposal system to replace ageing infrastructure, in compliance with current Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks environmental standards.

“I’m pleased to be part of today’s announcement at Brown’s Bay Beach, where we will finally see the revitalization it so desperately needs,” said Minister Clark. “This property has a long history in our community and the capital investments announced today to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission will provide for a new canteen and on-site facilities, a new beach, and other infrastructure improvements, and will ensure that it continues to be a destination for local residents and visitors to the region.”

In addition to the Brown’s Bay Beach capital repairs, funding will be used for a number of projects across SLPC sites, such as:

  • Repair and safety upgrades of critical fleet and equipment assets.
  • Road and grounds repairs to maintain roads and ensure safety for visitors and staff.
  • Maintenance dredging within the basin and main channel of Crysler Park Marina.
  • Electrical service repairs to address critical health, safety and compliance issue at Upper Canada Village.

“Infrastructure is not the celebrated part of the tourism industry, but it is absolutely critical,” said Bob Runciman. “Infrastructure is the foundation that enables quality visitor experiences; it is comfort, shelter, convenience, and safety – and if it isn’t maintained, people will stop coming. Like many of our eight campgrounds and six day-use areas that were built in the 1950s and 60s, Brown’s Bay, our oldest park, is operating with its original infrastructure and is in need of renewal. With funding support from the province, the restoration of Brown’s Bay will ensure it remains one of eastern Ontario’s many great tourist attractions, and ready to welcome guests for years to come.”

Quick Facts

  • As announced in the 2021 Budget, Ontario is investing more than $400 million over the next three years in new initiatives to support tourism, culture, sport and recreation sectors. This builds on investments of $225 million announced earlier, bringing the total support for these sectors to more than $625 million since the pandemic began.
  • St. Lawrence Parks Commission is one of the largest tourism destinations in eastern Ontario, with operations spanning 15 municipalities extending 200 kilometres from Kingston to near the Quebec border.
  • Brown’s Bay Beach is the oldest of all of the parks of the St. Lawrence. Before the St. Lawrence Seaway came into existence, Brown’s Bay was the only provincially operated park between Gananoque and the Quebec border.
  • Tourism plays a critical role in the Ontario economy. Prior to the pandemic, it generated $36.7 billion in economic activity and supported more than 390,000 jobs. In June 2021, employment in Ontario’s tourism‐related industries was 24 per cent lower (-213,000 jobs) compared to pre-pandemic June 2019.