Lions Lookout to get a facelift while discussions on future beautification continue

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By the time summer visitors start arriving next year, Lions Lookout will look a little bit better than it does today.

Several items had been identified in the 2017 budget to address some of the attraction’s disrepair, including removing the planters and patching the roadway. Those were put on hold while councillors debated what to do with the Memorial Park area as a whole – it would have been wasteful to spend the money if a grander plan pointed in a different direction was their thinking.

What to do with Memorial Park is still under consideration – councillors first wanted to hire a consultant to conduct public consultations but then nixed that idea in favour of doing the work in-house since a Memorial Park Master Plan had already been created in 2011. Councillors did a walking tour of the area in September to better inform their discussions.

While those discussions continue, Huntsville’s General Committee has, after some debate, given staff the green light to complete minor work in the area.

Initially, several members of committee were against the idea.

“I don’t know why we’d spend that much money on paving when it’s for the most part not bad,” said Mayor Scott Aitchison, referencing the $45,000 approved in the 2017 budget for road repairs. “It seems like we are putting the cart before the horse. I don’t think we spend more money now until we lay out a grand vision for it.”

Councillor Nancy Alcock agreed, adding that “repaving negates the option of looking at a permeable surface (for the road) which is the way we might be going. I’d hate to spend money and then we’ve taken that off the table.”

But Deputy Mayor Karin Terziano, said that she was in favour of the spend, to laughter from her fellow councillors – she’s often the voice of fiscal restraint at the table. “I think if it costs $45,000 to repair what needs to be repaired then I think we should. I don’t think we are going to have a brand new $500,000 master plan for Lions Lookout next year.”

Director of Operations and Protective Services, Steve Hernen reiterated that staff were looking for permission to “clean the place up” and, if committee agreed, to get it done early in the spring.

“I get that you want to make it a little less embarrassing because it is embarrassing now,” Mayor Aitchison replied. “I see that (the recommendation) is about cleaning up some potential liabilities, so I guess I would support that. I don’t know what the next step is for a broader vision of the place because the Memorial Park Master Plan we have now is not really a true Master Plan…it tinkers around the edges, it doesn’t really solve anything.”

These planters will be removed from Lions Lookout in the spring of 2018

These planters will be removed from Lions Lookout in the spring of 2018

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6 Comments

  1. Christine Kemper on

    It would be prudent to avoid individuals standing on the outskirts of the lookout throwing boulders down the lookout onto camp kitchen road and shooting golf balls off from there to the residential area below and breaking windows.

  2. About seven years ago the Town cleared away a swath of tall grass, brush, and small trees down the slope from the east end of the lookout overlooking Fairy Lake. The resulting widened and deepened view looked like the giant screen in an Imax movie theatre, big and spectacular. Unfortunately the human and runoff erosion immediately began worsening and has increased noticeably since then, both there and to the immediate left, down to the ledge overlooking the river. I hope that the fix-up or the grand plan includes some restoration of the disappearing ground cover.

  3. Lorrice Carruthers on

    Some picnic tables or Muskoka chairs would be nice so that one could sit, relax, have a picnic, and enjoy the view.

  4. Thank you, Ms. Terziano: firstly for reiterating the existence of a Master Plan for the area; and secondly for supporting the attendant roadwork. One must remember the bill for repaving a perfectly acceptable Deerhurst Road for a G-8 conference lasting but a few days.

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