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Johnson Park identified as potential site for new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough

Click to play video 'Canadian Canoe Museum finds new site for new facility' Canadian Canoe Museum finds new site for new facility
Johnson Park in Peterborough may be the site for the new Canadian Canoe Museum – Nov 26, 2020

A new location has been identified to build a new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ont.

On Thursday, the museum announced it has identified Johnson Park, the city-owned property at 2077 Ashburnham Drive in Peterborough, as a new site for its new canoe museum, to replace the existing facility on Monaghan Road which is decades old and does not provide enough display space for all of the museum’s artifacts

The municipally owned property is located at 2077 Ashburnham Drive, between Maria Street and Marsdale Drive and across from Eastgate Memorial Park. The property is adjacent to the Trans Canada Trail that connects Rogers Cover with Beavermead Park.

Last month, museum officials announced it was pulling out of building on Parks Canada land near the Peterborough Lift Lock after industrial solvent and other chemicals were found in the soil.

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Read more: Plans scrapped for new Canadian Canoe Museum next to Peterborough Lift Lock due to cleanup costs

The museum says exploration and feasibility studies, environmental assessment and testing is scheduled to take place on the new property, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. Test results are expected to be available by the end of the year.

“The Canadian Canoe Museum is extremely hopeful that the Johnson Park location will emerge as a viable site for the new museum build project,” stated Carolyn Hyslop, the museum’s executive director. “We are bolstered by the support of the City of Peterborough and the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) who are involved in the feasibility exploration.”

City councillor Gary Baldwin, the city’s representative on the canoe museum’s board of directors, says the identified site is an “ideal location.”

“The city is pleased that the Canoe Museum is quickly and decisively pivoting with the selection of a preferred site to keep the momentum going on this incredible project,” Baldwin said. “The new Canadian Canoe Museum will contribute to our community’s waterfront experience with the construction of a national cultural institution on the shores of Little Lake and the Otonabee River.”

Since May, the museum has been engaged in a proactive site selection process, reviewing multiple alternative sites throughout Peterborough’s waterfront in order to identify a new site where it will construct its museum. The museum’s board of directors struck a Pivot Task Force to manage the project who in turn enlisted the help of XBMC Consulting and Lett Architects Inc to lead a site feasibility study.

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Hyslop says the goal is to be shovel-ready by the end of 2021 for the project.

“The Canadian Canoe Museum is tremendously excited to be one step closer to realizing the vision of building a home that will permit it to share 100 per cent of its collection in a facility that meets conservation standards, to creating a new suite of exhibitions and to increasing opportunities for in-person, digital and on-water programming,” she said.— More to come.