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Restored Minnow Lake Boardwalk officially opens

The Minnow Lake Boardwalk effort was championed by Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc, and officially re-opened on Monday
Area residents join city staff and local politicians in celebrating the grand re-opening of the Minnow Lake Boardwalk on Monday. From left are area residents John and Paulette Lefebvre (who are also Mayor Paul Lefebvre’s parents), Minnow Lake Restoration Group chair John Lindsay, Mayor Paul Lefebvre, city Parks acting manager Frank Taylor, Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc, Minnow Lake Community Action Network chair Richard Charette, city Parks superintendent Andrew Bialek and city Leisure Services director Jeff Pafford.

The Minnow Lake boardwalk officially re-opened on Monday in a newly configured state city staff expect will better stand the tests of time than its predecessor.

During its official re-opening, city parks superintendent Andrew Bialek told that by raising the path by approximately 16 inches they’ve resolved its longstanding issues with flooding.

“Where we’re standing used to flood all the time,” he said, in reference to the boardwalk’s northern edge outside of Carmichael Arena, adding that it was also in rough shape at mid-path as it stretches southbound parallel to Bancroft Drive.

The project wasn’t a simple walking path restoration.

In addition to rebuilding the boardwalk, culverts were re-done, pipes were extended and a new channel was created to hold water.

Now 16 inches higher than it stood prior, he said the boardwalk’s old trouble spots, which closed during high-water events, should be able to remain open throughout the season.

Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc championed the project in 2021, bringing a business case for the boardwalk’s repairs for consideration during 2022 budget deliberations, where it was approved. toured the boardwalk with Leduc at the time, during which he pointed out a number of potential safety hazards, including a partially caved-in retaining wall. A short bridge was cordoned off, which was symptomatic of a longstanding water-flow issue.

The business case for 2022 budget deliberations noted that the boardwalk was built without geotechnical and engineering work, and had deteriorated beyond repair and needed to be rebuilt. Its projected budget was $392,500, and Bialek noted that it came in on budget.

A dead tree at the southern section of the boardwalk that presented a safety hazard was removed, but Bialek noted that the balance of existing plant life remained as it was prior to renovation. This was by design, he said, and was why they raised the path with a less-invasive boardwalk instead of trucking in sand and soil.

The boardwalk’s renovation was substantially completed last year, but remained partially closed due to chemical treatments to control phragmites, an invasive species of plant. It is now fully open.

The Minnow Lake boardwalk was constructed approximately 30 years ago as a project of the Minnow Lake Restoration Group.

The path was originally a dirt track, Minnow Lake Restoration Group chair John Lindsay told, adding his group later worked with the city to install a crusher dust path and then the interlocking brick and boardwalk configuration which served as a model for the larger Bell Park Walkway and Jim Gordon Boardwalk.

“Over the years, wear and tear and roots and trees and washouts coming off the street pretty much eroded what walkway was there,” Lindsay said, crediting Leduc with pushing through a business case to have the path restored, and city staff for doing the work.

“This body of water has a lot of history to it,” Leduc said, adding that the neighbourhood originally surrounded a sawmill, which floated logs in from Ramsey Lake, milled them on site and sold them on Second Avenue.

Since the boardwalk was substantially completed last year, and officially completed this season, Leduc said it has become a well-used path again, adding, “the community really enjoys it.”

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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