Road improvements in cottage country announced as part of Canada’s first rural economic development strategy

Photo: Can Stock Photo/Avdeev

Written by Donna Mayer

A crucial transportation corridor in cottage country is among the first infrastructure projects to be announced by the federal government following the release of Canada’s first Rural Economic Development Strategy earlier this summer.

A little over $2 million in funding was announced to rehabilitate and improve a combined five kilometres of roadway along Reid’s Road and Mount Julian-Viamede Road in the Township of North Kawartha.

Member of parliament for Peterborough–Kawartha Maryam Monsef, and Carolyn Amyotte, mayor of the Township of Kawartha, made the announcement Monday in North Kawartha.

The project involves strengthening the base of the roads, realigning curves, brushing and repaving the roads, and replacing ditches and culverts.

Road widening will occur on Mt. Julian Viamede Road, near the Mount Julian Wharf on Stoney Lake, as well as Reid’s Road in order to accommodate cycling traffic along all five kilometers of rehabilitated road.

Stoney Lake forms the eastern end of the Kawartha Lakes region, where the Mt. Julian-Viamede and Reid’s Roads network is a crucial transportation corridor serving both as economic infrastructure to the tourism industry and a vital emergency detour route from Highway 28.

“These roads lead to the historic and culturally significant Viamede Resort and the Inn at Mount Julian,” said Amyotte. “They also provide public and emergency access to Stoney Lake as well as the popular tourist attraction the Spirit of the Kawarthas Boat Tours.”

“Reconstructing this road network will support our active transportation priorities and provide links to both cycling and hiking routes located around Stoney Lake,” Amyotte said.

In addition to improving road conditions and cycling infrastructure, the project will improve drainage, and make transportation for residents more accessible and reliable.

The federal government is investing more than $1.2 million to the project through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan, while the Province is contributing more than $677,000 and the Township of North Kawartha is providing more than $164,000.

“North Kawartha Township is incredibly grateful for the assistance of Minister Monsef, in recognizing the importance of this project and her advocacy on behalf of our community,”  Amyotte said.

The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan was launched by the federal government last spring, drawing on funding commitments made in the 2016 and 2017 federal budgets.

Through the plan the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years, in five main infrastructure priorities: public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

On June 27, 2019, the federal government launched Canada’s first Rural Economic Development Strategy, intended to spur economic growth and create jobs in rural Canada.

The Rural Economic Development Strategy leverages ongoing federal investments and provides a vision for the future, identifying practical steps to take in the short term, and serving as a foundation to guide further work


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