It seems Niagara residents are fascinated by unexploded bombs.
Last week, Niagara Now published a story about renovations being made at the former rifle range in Niagara-on-the-Lake, which included information about unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO) being removed from the site.
The story was popular among readers, so here is more information about the rifle range and the UXO found on the property.
The 110-hectare property was acquired by the Department of National Defence in 1908, having first been used as a camp and training range for local troops. Since then, National Defence has continued to occupy the land, though due to the site's eventual designation as a National Historic Site, the property was transferred to Parks Canada in 1947.
DND leased the property from Parks Canada until 2000, when all training ceased and the range was deemed a surplus to military requirements.
In 2014, during early stages of preparing the land for park use, DND performed investigations on the site which identified the presence of both environmental contaminants and the potential for UXO.
As a result, UXO clearance and environmental investigations were conducted in 2015 and 2016, during which three UXOs were discovered — two grenades and one high explosive mortar round, which were demolished onsite by “UXO experts.”
As far as local stories of unexploded mines go, DND said it does not believe mines were ever used for training at the site.
“There are no records of practice mines ever being used at the Niagara on the Lake Range and Training area, and no evidence of mines were found in site clearance activities to date,” said an email from DND’s media relations office.
Following the discovery of the UXOs, a contractor was hired to perform environmental remediation and site restoration in fall of 2017.
Due to the nature of the site’s use and the discovery of the UXOs, the site remediation and follow-up monitoring is anticipated to take three years.
The site is located at 1848 Lakeshore Road, immediately to the west of the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
The Parks Canada National Historic Site is expected to be open to the public after remediation is complete.
Other parts of the renovations include infrastructure removal of structures near the rear of the property.
National Defence said it takes appropriate actions when UXOs are discovered, both on land and in water, to protect the public from risks.
This information was requested for the original story, but was not received until Wednesday morning.