Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | May 10, 2016
Aquatarium off to a great start 
with 20,000 visitors in first months
The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing on Brockville's waterfront has shot out of the starting gate.

The unique new discovery centre officially opened last Friday to great fanfare with officials already able to say the new attraction is drawing larger crowds than expected since its soft launch in early March.

"This project is a great example of the Government of Canada's committment in helping revitalize Canadian communities," Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands, told the official opening crowd at the destination's entrance. He was speaking on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

The $25-million, 27,000+ square foot Aquatarium is a discovery centre with interactive adventures and experiences to inspire critical thinking through storytelling and play while cultivating an appreciation of the history, culture and ecosystems of the 1000 Islands region.

"When people ask what this project does for us, we have an incredible building here that's an asset to this community for many, many years to come," said Brockville Mayor Dave Henderson. 

In honour of the opening, flags were raised outside the facility and the Fair Jeanne's cannons sounded. Guest speakers included local MP Gord Brown, MPP Steve Clark, Aquatarium Steering Committee Chairman Tony Barnes, and Tall Ships Landing developer Simon Fuller. Mayor Henderson read comments from Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, who was unable to attend.

Another highlight was the christening of the S.S. TeKamp in the front lobby by Simon Fuller, Cathy TeKamp and her daughter Robin in honour of the late Ben TeKamp, former Brockville mayor and Aquatarium project advocate. Cathy said her late husband would be proud.

The construction of the Aquatarium was made possible, in part, by contributions of up to $5,694,492 from each of the Governments of Canada and Ontario. Federal and provincial support was provided through the Building Canada Fund - Communities Component program in Ontario. The remainder of the funding was provided by the City of Brockville, Tall Ships Landing and private investors.

Learn more about the new waterfront destination's location and its operating hours by visiting the Aquatarium's website.  It is also home to the Tall Ships Water Front Grille. Like the Aquatarium Facebook page.

Aquatarium christening of the SS TeKamp
Aquatarium christening of the S.S. TeKamp
Top feature photo: Aquatarium Grand Opening officials, speakers and special guests cut the ribbon at the ceremony. Below photo: Brockville Mayor Dave Henderson addresses the crowd with Aquatarium's  Executive Director Bill Rogerson, right.


Above: Aquatarium ambassador Kerey Bolton and her "Mr. Otter" puppet were popular at the opening.

Centre photo and above: A youngster delights in steering the toggles of "a ship" and two girls press up to the glass to get a closer look at one of the signature otters.
Community Investment

Lou Seiler, Manager of Parks and Recreation Facilities for Parks of the St. Lawrence, and Susan LeClair, Manager of Customer Service and Corporate Communications, tour the treetop Adventure Park site. 

Photo above: Treetop Trekking of Quebec specialists are designing and building the aerial Adventure Park and zip line course.

Above photo: Treetop Trekking workers are shown on a section of the aerial courses high up in the forest canopy. The company is considered an eastern Canada industry leader in zip line and aerial parks.
Look way up: Skywood Eco Adventure Park taking shape high up in the trees
BROWN'S BAY - Get ready! Ontario's largest zip lining and tree canopy adventure park is opening here soon.

Skywood Eco Adventure Park is well underway in the former Brown's Bay provincial park campground on the 1000 Islands Parkway. The unique new destination will open in late June with a children's Treewalk Village following in August. Year 2 will see more expansion and on-site camping.

"Our plan is to make it the biggest in North America in the second year,"  Lou Seiler, Manager of Parks and Recreation Facilities for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC), said during a tour of the park last week. 

"It's very exciting. Our hope is to inspire a whole new generation," he said, adding Skywood will be completely accessible and designed for hours of enjoyment and outdoor adventure for people of all ages.

Skywood will have three sections. A zip lining tour will include 8 zip lines of various lengths over Skywood's forest, limestone cliffs, Jones Creek and surrounding wetlands. Zip tours will be guided with ecological interpretation along the way lasting up to 3 hours. 

The Adventure Park section will feature five aerial courses each made up of a series of unique games with wooden bridges, Tarzan swings and zip lines high in the forest canopy. The third component, the children's Treewalk Village, will be a magical network of colourful tree houses connected by ramps, nets and slides. A mini aerial course just a few feet off the ground will provide training for youngsters.

Safety is paramount, said Susan LeClair, Manager of Customer Services and Corporate Communications. The Edelrid Smart Belay System is being used, a two-carabiner system considered one of the safest in the industry. All visiting groups will have guides and rangers assisting.

Advanced eco-friendly construction techniques mean trees are not being damaged. Specialized wooden "tree-hugger" savers mean there is no bark penetration. 

About 20 new jobs are being created for the first season of operation. Skywood will be managed and operated by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. 

Learn more about this region's newest outdoor attraction by visiting the Parks of the St. Lawrence website and the Skywood page and follow Skywood on Facebook and Twitter for the newest developments.

Upcoming Events
Port of Johnstown 
Port Day Open House 

Saturday, June 4, 
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Port of Johnstown,
3035 County Road 2,

Speeches and opening remarks at 11 a.m.
There will be narrated tours, the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Griffon, farm equipment and trucks, Children's Activity Centre, Archery Trailer, Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary, a meet and greet along with a
FREE community BBQ with hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks. Live entertainment by Sons of Gord.
2016 Business Showcase & Expo at Ingredion Centre

Friday, June 10 to 
Saturday, June 11
Ingredion Centre, 
4040 Dishaw Street,

Hours: Friday: 6-9 p.m.;
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The two-day event is hosted by Augusta Township, Edwardsburgh Cardinal Township and The Town of Prescott.
Come out and see what local businesses have to offer!

Learn more by visiting the event website.
Merrickville Celebrates Women 

Saturday, June 11
Registration at 8:30 a.m. Merrickville Legion,
223 Main Street

Fun-filled day of events, activities and shopping at 40+ boutiques and unique culinary experiences.
All day: Market Showcase
11 a.m. Fashion Show
1 p.m. Canadian author, TV personality, CEO and venture capitalist Arlene Dickinson
All day: Health and Wellness, including mini sessions on yoga, nutrition, self defence,
sexual health, meditation and stress management. 
Learn more by visiting the event website.
For more information or to register, visit our Workshops and Seminars webpage.
Workshops and Seminars
How to Start a Business

Monday, May 16, 9:15 to 11 a.m.
Cost: Free
The session covers topics from who makes a great entrepreneur to resources in the community to tap into, and includes the first steps in the process.
Presented by the Leeds and Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre
The Employment and Education Centre
105 Strowger Boulevard, Brockville

Success Through Service

Thursday, June 2, 9 a.m. to noon
Cost: $10
Speaker: Jennifer Debruin discusses customer service in the age of the "empowered consumer." Includes an overview of changing consumer behaviour; Creating a sense of service; Communication essentials; and Keep customers coming back
Small Business Advisory Centre,
91 Cornellia Street West, Entrance B, 
Smiths Falls
For more information or to register, visit our Workshops and Seminars webpage.