The new home of Welland’s community boat rental program is taking shape, but will likely not open on the date the city hopes.
Located in the Lincoln Docks area of the recently renamed Rotary Park Welland Recreational Canal, two large shipping containers are in place to hold rental equipment. There are also toilets, changing rooms and a small office.
A targeted May long weekend opening date will be pushed back due to ongoing government restrictions, recreation and culture director Richard Dalton said over the weekend.
The first rental is expected to take place in June, he said.
The pandemic will have an impact on the number of rentals that can be accommodated.
“Reservations will be needed until restrictions ease to allow for closer to normal operation,” he said, adding that no tours will be available until further notice.
Participants will also be asked to complete the City of Welland’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment before renting equipment.
The rental program has been moved from the community boathouse at the east end of Thorold Road, which will continue to be used by the Notre Dame College School Rowing Club and the Ontario NextGen Performance Center in Row Ontario.
The “majority of the work” necessary to make the new facility operational has been completed, said Dalton.
“There will be the addition of a pavilion between the two buildings, which should be installed this summer. Staff are putting the finishing touches on the preparation for the installation over the next few weeks, including signage and office layout, ”he added.
Dalton said the new program house is an ideal use of space along the canal and is of “great importance” to the community.
“The new location provides a central location in Welland where more community members have the opportunity to access the program.
The new boathouse will contain offices on the upper bank of the recreational canal. The rental program will be on the lower shore and will include 12 double kayaks, 40 stand-up paddleboards, 30 single kayaks, six pedal boats, 12 canoes, 150 life jackets and 90 paddles.
Work on the property began last summer.
A budget of around $ 1.8 million was set by the city last year, but the overall cost of the project was estimated to be around $ 805,000 when council approved it.
Dalton didn’t have a final project cost over the weekend.