FedNor funding to help Fort Frances upgrade docks at marina

By Eric Shih
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Thunder Bay Source

FORT FRANCES — A popular part of the Fort Frances waterfront is getting a makeover.

FedNor funding of $196,000 announced on Tuesday will provide a number of upgrades for the Sorting Gap Marina, including new low-maintenance modular floating docks for tourists, as well as upgrading existing lighting and electrical systems.

Fort Frances Mayor Andrew Hallikas said the town is grateful to the federal government for the funding.

“It’s a really big help for us,” he said.

“We have a beautiful marina on beautiful rainy river and it’s used a great deal. We have a large international bass tournament out of there where people launch their boats. So to us, keeping that marina in tip top shape is very, very important.”

Hallikas said some of the docks were getting to be in poor shape and needed to be replaced. The town had already started work on the project, he added.

“We just needed additional funding to finish it. Some docks have been replaced others are in the process of being replaced,” he said, adding work has stopped for the winter but the project will be finished in the spring before the start of the boating season.

None of this FedNor funding replaces anything that was damaged from the flooding in the spring, Hallikas said.

“We will be applying for funding to assist us with replacing some of the damage that was accomplished during the flood,” Hallikas said, noting Fort Frances is still in a state of emergency until everything gets done.

“We were just waiting for final funding for it.”

In the release, MP Marcus Powlowski (Lib., Thunder Bay-Rainy River) said the project will revitalize the town’s waterfront and create new economic benefits for the area.

“Fort Frances is a fantastic tourist destination, and this FedNor funding will help ensure that the community has the infrastructure it needs to maximize that potential,” Powlowski said.

Patty Hajdu, the minister responsible for FedNor, added, “investing in key tourism opportunities is critical to growing Northern Ontario, and partnering on outdoor tourism projects like these helps create a broad, inclusive economy that serves rural areas alongside urban centers in our region.”