Thunder Bay

Manitoba company hopes to make a splash with floating obstacle course in Kenora, Ont.

Two private investors from Winnipeg, Manitoba are hoping to receive the green light from the City of Kenora to set up a floating water obstacle at Norman Park beach this summer.

Floating park expected to open in summer 2019 at city's Norman Park beach

A floating water obstacle park is being proposed for this summer at Norman Park beach in Kenora, Ont. This new attraction is expected to help create about 8 to 12 summer jobs and attract more tourists to the area. (Hoopla Island / website)

Two private investors from Winnipeg are hoping to receive the green light from the City of Kenora, about 200 kilometres east, to set up a floating obstacle course at Norman Park beach in June.

Twenty One Ventures Inc., president Gabriel Verrier said he and a friend visited Pentiction, B.C., to see the "water park in action" and thought it would be a "great idea" to introduce the project to northwestern Ontario.

Verrier and his partner, who are based in Manitoba, began scouting for a location "in and around [the] area," when they landed at a "great location" in Kenora.

"Kenora is well branded for tourism activity and definitely accepted us with open arms when we recommended the idea," Verrier said. "Norman Park is a beautiful park that's pretty much in the centre of activities that are going on in Kenora."

A place where a 'family can go'

A memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed at the April 16 Kenora city council meeting, according to Stace Gander, the community services manager.

"Its basically a floating obstacle course," Gander explained, "and it will operate from June 22 to September 2, and they expect that the capacity of the water park will be 50 to 60 participants at any given time and the ages are going to be roughly 12 to 40 years old."

He said the city has been looking at setting up a "floating aquatic park" after  independent studies in 2010 and 2016 suggested that a water park should be considered to attract more tourists to the area.

"I think the benefits are that its going to provide a great place for school-aged kids and young adults to go to in the summer months, to do something different on the water in Kenora," Gander said, adding this new proposed floating water park will help create approximately 8 to 12 summer jobs.

The 1400 square metre floating water obstacle will be roped off, with a lifeguard on scene, he said. Every participant will be required to wear a life jacket, which will be provided for them at the park.

Gander said with the combination of the Kenora Rotary Club's splash park, also being set up at Norman Park this summer, this new floating water obstacle will be a place "where a family can go."