Holiday lights in Lamoureux Park idea back again

In this November 2017, file photo, trees are lit up in Lamoureux Park as part of Canada 150 celebrations. City councillor Dean Hollingsworth has brought the idea of lights in the park back to council again less than a year after it was looked at and deemed too expensive. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Less than a year after it was discussed and shelved because it was too expensive, the idea of winter lights in Lamoureux Park is back on again – this time with music.

Coun. Dean Hollingsworth brought the idea to council Monday night as part of a new business item, asking for a staff report on whether the city could emulate Brockville’s River of Lights in Cornwall’s signature park.

Hollingsworth says the idea was brought to him by a resident and he felt it would be an opportunity to promote the downtown.

“We have a park with some lights and music to try and generate some action in the downtown core. People walking to and fro might stop by in Le Village or Pitt Street and perhaps make a purchase on the way to or from,” Hollingsworth said.

Lamoureux Park had lights for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 but, with extension cords strung in the trees, it was a temporary measure. A city report in February suggested it would cost $210,000 to create a permanent display similar to Canada 150. That doesn’t even involve the cost of equipment for music being considered now.

“I would love to see this happen,” Coun. Eric Bergeron said Monday night in supporting Hollingsworth’s new business motion. “I’ve been trying to get lights in Lamoureux Park for a few years now.”

In February, Bergeron said that $210,000 to light the park was too expensive.

Both city staff and CAO Maureen Adams said they would be hard pressed to have something happen before Christmas, given the timeline and trying to order any lights.

Brockville’s River of Lights was funded by the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce, ExpertContractors.ca, the DBIA, tourism partners and at least 30 corporate sponsors, including the City of Brockville.

The display, which ran for the first time in 2019 on Blockhouse Island, featured over 35,000 holiday lights. The sound and light event was built off a previous Tree of Light display in 2018.

Brockville council agreed to spend $56,885 this month and sole source the lights from a local company. The mayor’s office is handling donations and sponsorships this year.

A report on Lamoureux Park lights will come up at a council meeting soon, likely next month.

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