Port of Orillia open for business during construction: Chamber

There are many nearby parking alternatives along with a waterfront shuttle, officials say, while asking people not to cycle or in-line skate on boardwalk




Despite the construction along Centennial Drive and the boat ramp, the Port of Orillia is operational and prepared for a busy 2023 season.

The Orillia & District Chamber of Commerce (ODCC), a non-profit organization of approximately 550 Orillia and area businesses, operates the Port of Orillia and directs any profits back into the community through its festivals and events, and through its programs supporting local business.

While access to the parking at the Waterfront Centre may be impacted by the roadwork for a portion of the season, there are many nearby parking alternatives for those visiting the Port of Orillia this summer. A temporary 105-space municipal will be available at 20 Front St. S., just a few minutes walk from the Port.

In addition, the municipality is operating a waterfront shuttle departing from Municipal Lot 6 (107 West Street South) in the downtown area. Many downtown off-street and on-street parking spaces are located within a 10-15 minute walk from the Port, and there is a fabulous selection of unique shops and restaurants to visit along the way.

“While the ongoing construction presents a temporary inconvenience, the boating public should know that the improvements with both the lot behind the Waterfront Centre and the boat ramp are going to bring amazing change at the Port of Orillia,” says ODCC Executive Director and Port of Orillia Harbour Master Allan Lafontaine.

“In the past, sand and phosphate runoff from storm drains created challenges like sandbars and weed growth. The new construction will bring positive changes that include collection of runoff materials and we expect weed growth will slightly diminish,” he added.

There are some important safety precautions that Lafontaine wants the public to be aware of during the construction, saying “We are asking the public to be patient with construction, and understand that the rules prohibiting cycling, rollerblading, and e-scooter transportation on the boardwalks and walkways at the Port of Orillia continue to apply during this time.”

Due to boats docking at the seawall and high levels of pedestrian traffic on the boardwalk, the addition of faster-moving traffic such as bicycles to the space creates a serious safety risk. The biggest concerns centre around someone falling into the

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