Ontario Construction News staff writer
Parks Canada will provide $7.4-million to rehabilitate a heritage site in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Powerhouse building at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site opened in 1885, the first electrically operated lock in the world.
Funding will pay for critical infrastructure improvements to stabilize and conserve the historic Powerhouse building.
The heritage building is undergoing significant structural stabilization work to remediate deterioration, largely through groundwater mitigation projects and improvements including conservation, rehabilitation, and construction initiatives. Work at the Powerhouse began in late December 2023 and is expected to continue for approximately two years.
Phase one of the project started in 2019, with $6.3 million in federal funding to begin investigative work, which included removing some existing infrastructure to thoroughly explore and understand the water infiltration issues, and to assess future needs to remediate this heritage building. With today’s announcement, the total federal investment for the Powerhouse building is approximately $13.8 million.
Other significant infrastructure investments have been completed at the site over the past eight years with federal funding for numerous projects at the site, including the restoration and protection of the site’s Powerhouse building, stores building and associated structures, repairs to the superintendent’s residence, design and repaving of the entry road and creation and opening of a new visitor centre and exhibit space.
Parks Canada’s infrastructure portfolio includes about 18,000 built assets – highways, bridges, dams and other marine infrastructure, historic buildings and fortifications, water and wastewater treatment facilities, campgrounds, visitor centres and operational buildings.
“The Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site is undertaking a large revitalization project on the historic Powerhouse building to ensure its sustainability and longevity for future generations,” said Sault Ste. Marie MP Terry Sheehan.