Officials say the new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough will be an economic driver when it opens next to the Peterborough Liftlock and Trent Severn Waterway.
The museum is in the midst of a $65-million fundraiser for expansion and relocation from its current site on Monaghan Road to land owned by Parks Canada next to the Liftlock.
The fundraising campaign got a recent boost when Peterborough County made a commitment of $500,000. Last February the federal government committed $1.4 million in support, while last fall the City of Peterborough agreed to contribute $4 million. The museum says another $13 million has been earmarked through a federal cultural space grant — a sum that was contingent on the full endorsement of city council.
John Ronson, museum board chairman, says local political support makes it easier to go to private individuals corporations, and foundations outside the area.
“If we can go out to the country and say we have support of the County of Peterborough, the City of Peterborough, we have support of the province, the federal government, it just makes our case, it makes telling our story easier,” he said.
Ronson says the construction project for the 75,000 square foot building will be one of the largest in the area in years
“We had an external study done and we estimate the economic impact at close to $100 million and most of that is construction jobs, and we’re going to have a deliberate policy of sourcing as many as those jobs as possible in the city and county,” he said.
Peterborough and the Kawarthas Tourism believes the relocated canoe museum, Liftlock, and Trent Severn Waterway will become a one-stop attraction for tourists.
“Our job is to reach out to visitors and visitors from around the world to share our attractions,” said Tracie Bertrand, director of tourism and communications.
“So we see the combination of the three in one desirable location to be a key core attracter for visitors internationally, in Canada and in the province.”
Construction of the museum is expected to begin in early 2019 with an opening expected in 2021.