A New Beginning with an Old Favourite!

In the City of Kingston, Ontario, an inspiring restoration project is inviting the public to jump back into the water.

Photo courtesy of Claude Cormier et Associés.

It was 20 years ago along the northern coast of Lake Ontario when individuals who stood along the edge of the water feared pollution and contamination. Two decades later, with support from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation through the Great Lakes Challenge and the City of Kingston, the deteriorating shoreline and pier have been revitalized! on July 26, 2018, the Gord Edgar Downie Pier will officially be opening as Canada’s first deep water urban swimming pier.

Photo courtesy of Claude Cormier et Associés.

The name of the pier also has important significance as Gord Edgar Downie was an ambassador and board member of Swim Drink Fish Canada. Gord Downie’s personal connection to the water had always run deep. Having grown up right across the street from where the new pier stands, water was his passion and he dedicated his time to protecting it. His support in the swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters movement has played a key role in our organization’s success. Notably, his “Heart of a Lake” tour in 2006 was aimed at encouraging individuals to imagine a better future for our waters, as he performed in Lake Ontario’s most polluted communities. His Watermark moves us and will continue to touch the lives of Canadians in our Watermark archive for years to come.

After decades of hard work from individuals and organizations determined to see change, Swim Drink Fish has done it in Kingston! The success of this project can inspire us to do the same in our British Columbia waterbodies. False Creek is a beautiful waterbody in the center of our bustling city. Seeing the success of the Breakwater Project, gives us hope that one day, False Creek will also be accessible for everyone to swim in and enjoy.  

Although as Vancouverites we may not be able to join Ontarians at this celebration in Kingston, there is still a way to stay connected through our shared love of the water by joining the Gratitude Swim. The Gratitude Swim is a major part of this celebration; an opportunity to showcase what we’re grateful for. At Fraser Riverkeeper, we know we’re thankful for the water, the supporters, and all the people that have made this project possible. On July 26th, join us in the celebration by jumping into one of our local waterbodies. Take a picture or video of the water fun and tell us what you’re grateful for. Make sure to share it with us after by using the hashtag #swimdrinkfish.

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