Sudbury·Photos

Sudbury's Northern Water Sports Centre just a few weeks away from opening its doors

Three big docks were installed at the new Northern Water Sports Centre in Sudbury over the weekend — the latest addition to a facility that combines the Sudbury Rowing Club, the Sudbury Canoe Club and the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival under one roof.

'What we will end up doing is moving across to the new facility over the course of the season'

Thomas Merritt, past chair of the Northern Water Sports Centre and a coach with the Sudbury Rowing Club, stands at the edge of Ramsey Lake, where three docks were expected to be installed this past weekend. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

Three big docks were installed at the new Northern Water Sports Centre in Sudbury over the weekend — the latest addition to a facility that combines the Sudbury Rowing Club, the Sudbury Canoe Club and the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival under one roof.

The president of the local rowing club said she's excited about club members — and the community — seeing the new and larger facility.

"It is a beautiful view," Bridget Schulte-Hostedde said.

"If you're up in the upper part, the grand room of the facility looking out over the lake, there's a beautiful patio out there. And it reminds us how lucky we are to have access to this lake and anticipate the season to come out on the water."

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'Putting more people out on the water'

Boats and equipment will be moved over the next two weeks as the organizations get ready for the centre's grand opening — and the start of summer paddling programming — on May 28.

The Sudbury Canoe Club has already moved into the centre.

The past chair of the Northern Water Sports Centre board said he expects the centre to draw more interest from the community.

"We've invested a lot of money. The feds have invested a lot of money. The city [and] the province have invested a lot of money in this project," Thomas Merritt said of the $5 million project.

"That has to turn around to putting more people out on the water. I think the clubs are really going to be able to do that. I think you'll see a boost in membership, and an expansion of the kind of programs that we can run."

Merrit said groups are still raising money for Phase Two, which will fund the completion of the boat lot, the parking lot, and other projects.

The centre's opening is good news for athletes who weren't able to access the previous facilities, said Merritt, who is  also a coach for the centre's adaptive rowing program. 

He spoke about the program on CBC Sudbury's Morning North radio show. Listen below, or tap here for the interview.

Sudbury's new Northern Water Sports Centre will soon open. It will be home to the Sudbury Canoe Club, the Sudbury Rowing Club and the Dragon Boat Festival. The CBC's Angela Gemmill got a tour from Thomas Merritt, coach of the adaptive rowing program. 5:36

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