Renovations bring wider path, better access to Meewasin Valley Trail

Click to play video: 'Meewasin trail improvements detailed, aimed to maintain high visitorship'
Meewasin trail improvements detailed, aimed to maintain high visitorship
Meewasin Valley Authority CEO Andrea Lafond detailed changes to the Meewasin Trail on Friday following it's official unveiling. Lafond said visitors can look forward to interpretive panels, in addition to accessibility improvements which include a widened path and improved sloping – Jun 2, 2023

The Meewasin Valley Authority opened up a newly renovated section of the Meewasin trail around the Shakespeare on Saskatchewan, across from Kinsmen Park, on Friday. The improvements bring a wider trail, better accessibility and new amenities.

The upgrades are being funded by donations, but the federal and provincial governments also chipped in $5.5 million . The City of Saskatoon and Trans Canada Trail also provided support.

Dominic LeBlanc, federal minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities said: “This investment is an investment in the quality of life of all Saskatoon residents, and in one of Canada’s most iconic rivers.”

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The renovations on the trail were completed over five years. During this time, the trail was moved further away from the street and made wider, new amenities were added, and emergency service access was improved. The trail also now provides better sloping to make it more accessible. The parking lot across the street from Kinsmen Park was  completed during an earlier phase of the project.

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The trail will allow passage through the Shakespeare on Saskatchewan area, even during performances.

Last year 2.32 million people visited the trail, said Andrea Lafond, CEO of Meewasin Valley Authority.

“We thought that the numbers only rose because of the pandemic, but they have continued to rise. Our trail study projected that we would reach 2.5 million visitors by 2050, but we are very happy to have surpassed those projections.”

The Meewasin Valley Authority is not finished with improving the trail. Educational panels and more improvements on the Kiwasis and downtown part of the trail are being planned for the coming years.

Work on the section between the Broadway Bridge and Bessborough is slated to start later this year. During construction, the trail will be temporarily rerouted to the Spadina Crescent sidewalk.

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