The City of Winnipeg marked the grand opening of a new beachfront boat launch for canoes, kayaks and other non-motorized watercraft at La Barrière Park on Friday.
Paddle Manitoba (PM) has been actively promoting paddling at this site for about 25 years, and reached out to the City to discuss the potential for a beachfront entry in La Barrière Park.
The project was approved by the Provincial Waterways Regulatory Branch.
The total funding for the water access feature was $75,000 from the capital budget and the Land Dedication Reserve.
The construction process involved digging at the water’s edge to install cabled concrete mats for a stable base, which was then covered with sand and extends into the La Salle River for ease of boat launching.
“Years of sinking into mud or jumping off the river bank to launch your canoe or kayak is now just a distant memory,” said Waverley West councillor Janice Lukes.
“The new beachfront entry transforms your entire paddling experience on the enchanting La Salle River.”
Additionally, vehicles carrying boats will now be able to enter the park through the main entrance to reach the new boat drop-off area by the former washroom building.
A new accessible three-meter-wide gravel path was installed to ensure a safe route from the boat drop-off turn-around at the top of the bank, down to the launch area.
The park also features extensive nature trails and expansive greenspace, offering a wide variety of outdoor activities for everyone of all ages and abilities to enjoy, including canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, hiking, cycling, disc golf, cricket and picnicking.
Councillor Markus Chambers said the area continues to provide recreational opportunities for all Winnipeggers.
“The addition of cricket pitches and now a canoe and kayak launch are two examples of how sports and recreation offerings at La Barrière Park have expanded as the city continues to grow and diversify.”
PM will be working with the city in the coming weeks to convert the former washroom building into a storage area for canoe and paddling gear for their programming.