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Bayfield, Ont. downtown construction ‘almost’ done

Bayfield, Ont. is almost back to normal. The final stretch of updated sidewalks are going in this week.

“Then, we’re going to see the top coat of asphalt go on the week of May 15, and then we’re going to be done by May 24. We’re so excited,” said Terri Louch, a downtown business owner and secretary treasurer with the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce.

Work started on Bayfield’s nearly $3 million reconstruction project last April. Work stopped for June, July, and August to accommodate the summer tourism season. Work resumed in September and ran throughout the winter.

New sewers, hydro infrastructure, drainage, streetlights, landscaping, and sidewalks highlight the 10-month long project that was an obvious inconvenience for Bayfield’s many Main Street businesses.

“But, we hung in there. People found us, and they love, love the changes,” said Louch.

One of the focal points of the downtown revitalization is a labour of love from the Bayfield Lion’s Club. A 30-foot tall clock tower and gigantic Canadian flag, commemorating the town’s fishing roots and the 75th anniversary of the Lion’s Club in Bayfield.

A clock tower and Canadian flag installed by Bayfield Lion’s Club, the “centrepiece” of Bayfield, Ont.’s downtown reconstruction project as seen on May 10, 2023. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)

“It’s a centrepiece that ties the past to the present,” said Lion’s Club member Dave Nearingburg.

Wider, smoother sidewalks with no drainage issues and self-supporting rain gardens that won’t require daily watering are just some of the highlights tourists may notice this summer, said Louch.

“I had a lady the other day come into the shop, and say, ‘it’s vintage Bayfield, on steroids, it’s great,’” recalled Louch.

“Blending the past and the traditions of the village, while updating it in a respectful manner had its challenges. There have been compromises along the way, but I think people will be happy with the finished product which, of course, will be tweaked as the years go by,” said EJ Bauer, local businessman and Bayfield Lion’s Club member.

A completed stretch of Bayfield’s updated sidewalks as seen on May 10, 2023. (Scott Miller/CTV News London) Top Stories

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