Brown’s Bay — St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) is pleased to announce that it is launching a multi-year project to restore its Brown’s Bay Beach site along the Thousand Islands Parkway in Mallorytown, Ontario. Work is currently underway preparing the site for key infrastructure upgrades such as new washrooms within a new canteen building, major reconstruction of a portion of the seawall that will also create an elevated beach, and a new and improved sewer system.
Like many of SLPC’s 8 campgrounds and 6 day-use areas that were built in the 1950s and 60s, Brown’s Bay, our oldest park, is operating with its original infrastructure which is beyond its useful life and is in need of replacement. Though beaches have been maintained through rehabilitation, repair, and operations, they need major infrastructure replacement to revitalize the assets. SLPC is starting a process to upgrade its parks with beaches as the priority. Brown’s Bay will be the first beach to undergo restoration.
The project announced today is the first step in a long-term phased approach to modernizing and optimizing the Brown’s Bay site so that it offers safe, accessible and memorable guest experiences from the ground up. The new washrooms and change rooms will be gender-neutral and accessible. The seawall restoration will support a sustainable beach environment and create barrier-free ramped entry points to the water. A new sewage disposal system is critical to meet environmental standards.
“While infrastructure is not the most celebrated or glamourous part of the tourism industry, it is critical. Infrastructure is the foundation that enables quality visitor experiences; it is comfort, shelter, convenience, and safety – and if it is not maintained, there will be a direct, negative impact on attendance and guest experience,” said SLPC Chair, Hon. Bob Runciman. “This restoration project represents a key investment in the Brown’s Bay’s infrastructure and sustainability, and accordingly, the future of this beloved park. When complete, the newly restored park will be an asset the community can be proud of and a bigger draw to bring people – and tourism dollars – into the area.”
This first phase of the restoration at Brown’s Bay is being funded through the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industry’s (MHSTCI) Capital Repair and Rehabilitation (R&R) program that funds projects for assets in need of critical repair and that pose risks related to health and safety, asset integrity, code compliance and that are critical to business.
Seawall restoration will start in December 2021 and be completed by the end of March 2022. Once the seawall is complete, work will begin on the elevated beach area which will run till the end of June 2022. Construction on the washroom/canteen building and septic system construction will start in 2022 and be completed by the end of that calendar year. The park is anticipated to be open throughout construction.
- Upkeep of the existing Brown’s Bay beach area requires yearly importing and placement of sand, which is routinely washed away downstream through normal coastal processes on the St. Lawrence River.
- A recent engineering assessment of the seawall at Brown’s Bay Beach conducted by Shoreplan Engineering, an expert in seawall design and construction, concluded that the seawall was no longer safe, was not properly designed for its intended purpose, and does not meet current construction standards for seawalls.
- Shoreline improvement works take place during the winter months as standard practice.
- Phase 1 includes a tree replanting strategy to replace the 22 trees that required removal during construction. The trees were assessed by arborists and the majority of these trees were found to be in poor condition and/or hazardous.
- The tree replanting strategy will address improvements to species diversity on-site and will also mark the beginning of active tree succession planting.