SOUTH LANCASTER – The South Lancaster Wharf is described by locals as a place that is always buzzing with activity.
So, it would only be fitting that the historic gateway to the St. Lawrence River would get its first significant update in the form of a wood and aluminum-framed floating dock.
The dock has been in place since August but officials took the opportunity Thursday to mark its opening with a small ceremony.
“This is a rare occasion that there isn’t people here,” said Ewen MacDonald, South Glengarry Infrastructure General Manager, “I can’t say I have come down here in the last two years and not seen people fishing and swimming and passively sitting a reading a book. It’s a wonderful facility the Friends of the Wharf have hosted a number of successful events,” MacDonald said.
“We refer to this as our park,” said Friends of the Lancaster Wharf (South Lancaster) President Glenn Patton, “this is our only facility, our only installation and promoting the activities that occur down here.”
The dock and concrete pad were paid for through a $14,000 Ontario Trillium Grant, $10,000 from the municipality and support from the Friends of the Lancaster Wharf (South Lancaster).
A kayak launch is expected to be added to the dock this year.
The work was done by a local firm – Dock’Rite Boat Lifts Ltd. in Cornwall.
Ewen MacDonald said “the work here isn’t done.” MacDonald told Cornwall Newswatch their long term vision is to widen it and add a boardwalk and also have a patio with a gazebo at the end of the wharf.
In its current position, the wharf dates back to 1894 and was used for moving commercial goods, cattle and passenger traffic.
MacDonald said the original wharf, established in 1787, was actually off the south shore, off Water Street, northeast of its current location.