The Mississippi Mills Riverwalk Working Group met on the site of the soon-to-be Millworkers Staircase this morning to officially kick-off site preparations for Phase 2 of the Riverwalk. In their first meeting since March, masked committee members were proud to celebrate this key milestone together.

Alex Gillis, Riverwalk Working Group Chair, shared his appreciation for the Municipality, the community as well as the individual committee members.

“The Riverwalk Advisory Committee, now the Working Group was launched in 2016 with a goal of fundraising. Since that time, the public and the municipality have shown a strong desire to support this Riverwalk extension onto Coleman Island and especially the staircase.”

The public has contributed $71,400, in just over 3 years through individual donations and fundraising events. This financial support shows very tangible evidence of an engaged and supportive community. The committee also shared their tremendous appreciation of Mississippi Mills resident and business owner, Mike Dupuis, whose generous offer to make his private bridge accessible for public use made this addition possible. Similarly, the Mississippi River Power Corporation (MRPC) plays a critical role by permitting public access to their earthen dam. The MRPC have also made significant aesthetic improvements to the area contributing to the project’s success.

The planned 9.5-metre steel staircase pays tribute to the municipality’s mill history and recreates a set of stairs mill workers used. The staircase will allow the Riverwalk to connect Coleman Island to the Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail. Mississippi Mills Council awarded the tender for the Mill Workers Staircase to Premium Construction at a special meeting in April.

Premium has begun site preparations on Coleman Island and the staircase structure is under construction offsite. The staircase is on schedule to be delivered, assembled, and installed in its permanent location late this fall.

“The Riverwalk extension has come together much quicker than many of us expected and the timing could not have been better,” expressed Mayor Lowry who was in attendance for this morning’s ceremony.

“The last six months have been difficult for our community, and we know that this new normal of being apart will be with us for some time. The Riverwalk extension is a beautiful reminder of how this community comes together - this project was created by the community, fundraised for by the community, and will be enjoyed and cherished by the community for generations to come. To Chair Alex Gillis and the entire working group, I thank everyone of you for your hard work, your dedication and for bringing this jewel to Mississippi Mills.”

The Mississippi Mills Working Group includes Chair Alex Gillis, Joy Stratford, Lea-Anne Solomonian, Eric Schulz, Michael Rikley-Lancaster, Nancy Scott and Mississippi Mills Staff Tiffany MacLaren. Plans have begun for donor recognition as well as a grand opening celebration to take place Spring 2021.