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Niagara Falls
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Parks Canada announces $6 million shoreline protection at Fort Mississauga
Parks Canada will begin construction of a 500-metre break wall near Fort Mississauga in November. The project, expected to take about two years to complete, is an extension of the 600-metre break wall along the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club. Rene Bertschi/Skyview Arts

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s historic Fort Mississauga is getting another upgrade — to the tune of $6 million.

Parks Canada announced the funding Friday, which will be used to build a 500-metre section of break wall to protect the land near the fort from increased shoreline erosion.

It also means the tree canopy along the eastern Lake Ontario shoreline along the first fairway at the NOTL Golf Club will be removed.

The project is the final phase of break wall construction along the shoreline, after 600 metres of protection and walkway was earlier built along the western edge of the golf club.

The club leases the land from Parks Canada.

Before the earlier work was completed, many members of the golf club expressed concerns about the loss of trees.

However, the changes allayed those fears because they resulted in much-improved and somewhat spectacular views of the lake and Toronto skyline.

Shoreline erosion is caused in part by more frequent and severe storms and high-water levels due to climate change on the Great Lakes.

“These measures will ensure public safety, safeguard historic artifacts along the property, and protect Parks Canada-administered lands leased by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club,” Parks Canada said in a news release Friday.

The money is part of a $557 million infrastructure investment announced by the federal government in 2022.

The earlier phase of the project also included the installation of a walking trail along the shoreline and a boardwalk to access the Fort Mississauga tower and earthworks.

The fort itself has also been restored since 2019, as part of a $7.3 million infrastructure project.

Parks Canada said the shoreline has “many non-native and invasive tree and shrub species with root systems that damage archeological resources within the earthwork fortification and the surrounding grounds.”

The agency also said there are trees and large shrubs that are falling or at risk of falling into the water as the shoreline erodes.

“Parks Canada will remove this vegetation to support the break wall construction and then plant native grasses, selected for their minimal maintenance and water requirements.”

Parks Canada has promised that for every tree removed during the work it will plant two new native species trees or shrubs in the area.

Work on the last phase of the project is slated to begin shortly and take about two years.

The total federal investment for the shoreline work, including the previously completed walking path and vegetation work, is $10.4 million.

Chris Bittle, parliamentary secretary for the minister of housing, infrastructure and communities, said the government is investing in Fort Mississauga “to ensure we give our past a future.”

“This shoreline protection is a concrete example of how Parks Canada is conserving the cultural resources and important history of Fort Mississauga, while ensuring visitors can safely visit and learn more about the full scope of this national historic site,” he said.

“These vital Lake Ontario shoreline protections will mitigate the effects of climate change and allow for the rich stories of Fort Mississauga to continue to be shared.”

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