Sad state

Town council likely will face a tough decision sometime this summer: is the government dock at Pither’s Point worth saving.
Let’s hope the answer is yes.
True, as Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig pointed out this week, the dock isn’t a going concern like it was 25 years ago. The beach along Sand Bay certainly doesn’t attract the crowds it used to in its heyday, with most kids, particularly the older teens, seeming to prefer swimming on the upper river nowadays,
Even the Canada Day fireworks no longer are set off from the dock.
Still, one would hate to see yet another “landmark” of Fort Frances fall by the wayside. We’ve already lost Fort St. Pierre at the Point and the Lookout Tower there has been closed for several years due to safety concerns.
Frankly, at a time when we should be looking at more attractions to encourage tourists to stop here each summer, why are we perhaps getting rid of yet another one? Why isn’t Pither’s Point better marketed as a great picnic spot, where tourists then can use the dock for a leisurely stroll, to jump in the lake for a cool dip, or drop a fishing line before getting back into their cars for a long drive ahead.
Then there’s the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. Sure, it only runs for three days a year, but a large crowd always gathers on the dock each morning to watch the launch, and it offers the most convenient location for committee members to check the incoming boats in the afternoon before they head over to the Sorting Gap Marina.
Council’s verdict ultimately will depend on the cost estimate JML Engineering Ltd. has been hired to provide, which you can bet will be well into the six figures. On the other hand, the government dock is more than just a wooden structure—it’s a part of Fort Frances’ identity.
And once it’s gone, we can never get it back.