Merrickville-Wolford Council has given their support to a Lions Club project to build a gazebo in the Blockhouse Park. The Lions Club has already been talking with Parks Canada, owner of the land where they would be building the gazebo. According to the presentation made to council by Lions Club representative Tim Molloy last Monday, Parks Canada is in favour of the project, as long as the gazebo goes with the existing structures in the park and doesn’t obstruct the view of the canal. This is not the first time there has been a gazebo in Merrickville. The original gazebo in the municipality sat at the corner of St. Lawrence Street and Main Street.
“Bandshells [gazebos] are integral parts of old villages,” Tim said at the meeting. “It is in keeping with our historical nature.”
The gazebo will be the property of the Lions Club, as they would hold the license of occupation from Parks Canada. The proposed location for the 24×16 foot structure is just southeast of the freight shed in the Blockhouse Park, not too far from where the original gazebo once stood.
The Lions Club hopes that the gazebo will become a hub for the community. Open air concerts in the summer is just one of the suggested uses for the gazebo. It would also be used as a focal point for community celebrations, like Canada Day and Christmas in Merrickville, and provide a place of respite for the thousands of tourists, boaters, cyclists and pedestrians who visit the village every year. The Lions Club believes that this gazebo would go a long way in strengthening and enhancing the community.
The project will be partially paid for by the money the Lions Club had earmarked for the public washroom project, which has failed to progress. “This was second on our list,” Tim says. They are also looking for any in-kind donations they can receive from the local business community, as well as some funding from the municipality for electrical hook up. “We would like to hear some intent from council to chip in,” Tim said at the meeting.
Merrickville-Wolford Council resolved to support the project in principal, which includes sending a letter of support to Parks Canada. They will be revisiting the idea of funding the electrical hook up once they enter the 2018 budget deliberations later this year.