The Brockville Railway Tunnel Committee is grateful that our tunnel restoration project has been selected by city council as Brockville’s application to the federal government’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. We also express our sincere appreciation for the endorsements we have received from the Brock Trail, Cycling, and Rotary Park Committees, and from many other organizations and individuals recognizing the central role that restoration of our tunnel will play in the future of Brockville’s downtown.
Brockville’s tunnel is Canada’s first railway tunnel and a symbol of our pre-Confederation industrial history. The tunnel and the tunnel’s north portal gorge at Pearl and Victoria Streets are unused and unappreciated Canadian heritage assets that our project will open for recreation, tourism, and economic development. As a new part of the Brock Trail, the tunnel and gorge will provide an extended pathway for citizens and visitors alike to enjoy walking, jogging, cycling, and other outdoor activities, as well as heritage exploration, shopping, dining, and entertainment at several sites downtown, including our new Aquatarium.
Our committee’s immediate goal is to secure funding to restore the tunnel and gorge in order to open these to the public in time for Canada’s 150th birthday, July 1, 2017.
Activities to be funded include masonry repairs, rock and slope stabilization, drainage, a travel surface, lighting, ventilation, safety/security, landscaping, and accessibility features.
Fundraising planning was initiated by our committee in April 2015. We are currently focused on securing major grants and leadership gifts from key individuals and local businesses, national corporations, charitable foundations, and organizations as well as from federal and provincial government grant programs, and these activities will continue through 2015. A public phase of community-wide fundraising and awareness activities is expected to be launched later in 2016.
Based on the latest estimates, the cost to restore and open the tunnel and gorge will be about $2.4 million, of which we are now seeking $275,000 from the Canada 150 fund. The City of Brockville has already committed $300,000 toward the project.
Again, we are grateful for the encouragement and support we are receiving from the community for this project.
For more information about how to get involved, please contact:
Chair, Brockville Railway Tunnel Committee
Brockville Railway Tunnel Committee
For Canada150 information, visit: http://canada.pch.gc.ca/canada150