Jennifer McLaughlin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park is getting a boost.
A $740,000 investment in the park was announced last week by the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and Member of Parliament for Markham–Stouffville.
“Our government is investing in community infrastructure to support the mental and physical health of Canadians by promoting social interaction and physical activity,” said Jaczek, and “will help draw visitors to Bruce’s Mill, where they can come together, enjoy the outdoors and be active,” she added.
The park is owned and operated by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). TRCA will use the funding to install two new picnic shelters, add accessible picnic tables, make accessibility and safety upgrades to washrooms, and improve park access roads and parking lots.
“Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is thrilled that the investment by FedDev Ontario will accommodate the increased demand for outdoor recreation and provide improved visitor experiences at Bruce’s Mill,” said Michael Tolensky, chief financial and operating officer, TRCA.
“It is investments like these that allow TRCA to keep our parks and trails in a state of good repair while increasing community connection and improving accessibility to our visitors,” said Tolensky.
And more visitors to the park means a boost for the local economy.
The investment comes from the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), a two-year $500 million national infrastructure program to revitalize communities across Canada. Not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and other public institutions, and Indigenous communities can apply to receive funding.
Upgrading outdoor spaces, creating green infrastructure, revitalizing downtown cores and main streets, and increasing the accessibility of community spaces are eligible for funding through the CCRF.
The federal government has allocated $139 million of the $500 million infrastructure program for community improvements in southern Ontario through FedDev Ontario.
Photo: (l-r) Joe Petta, General Manager, Conservation Parks and Golf, TRCA, Michael Tolensky, Chief Financial, and Operating Officer, TRCA, and the Hon. Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and MP for Markham—Stouffville, stroll across the lawn at Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park after announcing a $740,000 investment for accessibility and infrastructure improvements to the park. (Daren Goodchild)