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Kaministiquia River can be more user-friendly, research suggests

A recently-graduated landscape architect proposes some new ideas to bring more people to the shores of the Kaministiquia River.
Re-imagining the Kam River involves helping the public find a place to easily launch a canoe or kayak, a Thunder Bay researcher says. Pictured here is the Mountdake Avenue boat launch. (Adam Burns/CBC)

A recently-graduated landscape architect proposes some new ideas to bring more people to the shores of the Kaministiquia River.

Sarah Mitchell just finished her thesis on "re-imagining" the Kam River, and focuses on the section from Kakabeka Falls to Lake Superior.

It's difficult for the public to find places to easily launch a canoe or kayak, she said, noting that changes to the Mountdale boat launch would provider better access to the river.

"If there were just a few small subtle changes such as adding a dock for possibly launching like canoes or kayaks, that would be great because right now the area is very, it's always very busy in the summer,” she said.

Her other suggestions include more signage to point visitors to access points on the river.

"I found that there were quite a number of places that you could access the river, but you only knew about those places if you lived within a close proximity,” Mitchell said.

Her thesis divided the river into a few sections, including the more natural section from Kakabeka Falls to Fort William Historical Park, an area with “Cultural Connections” from the park to the Mountdale Avenue boat launch, and then an area that pays tribute to the “Industrial past,” which spans from the boat launch to Lake Superior.

Mitchell, who paddled the route with her father over a number of days, said she's only putting her suggestions forward, and hasn't officially given these ideas to anyone in particular.

“It's all about people engaging with the river, and discovering it,” she said.

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