THUNDER BAY – A citizen group is urging for the restoration of a two-century-old fountain in one of the city’s most historic parks.
The Hogarth Fountain, located in Waverley Park, is in need of what are expected to be extensive and expensive repairs. The fountain did not operate last year and will not run this summer.
The Coalition for Waverley Park president Keith Nymark on Monday night asked Thunder Bay city council to consider allocating funds for the project in the 2020 budget, which could allow work to be done that year for the fountain to be functional in 2021.
“Our goal is to get more people using the park. It’s a beautiful park. It has that history,” Nymark said.
“The fountain itself needs to have seating around it where people can sit and chat and talk. If you travel at all and you go to the old city squares and they’re packed with people on a summer evening, sitting around chatting. That would be our vision for the park.”
The fountain, which dates back to 1790 in England, was donated to the city in the memory of former MPP Major General Donald McDonald Hogarth in 1965. It was a centrepiece of Waverley Park, which is the second-oldest municipal park in the province.
The fountain is presently guarded by a fence to protect it from vandalism, though Nymark wants the city to look into other security options.
Nymark said the fountain’s liner is separating from the panels, causing leaks. The mechanical system is under the fountain and considered a confined space, not easily accessible for staff to do routine maintenance. As well, the ground around the fountain has settled and heaved, causing potential tripping hazards.
Werner Schwar, a supervisor in the city’s parks and open spaces department, said there is no cost estimate for the project.
Council referred the matter back to administration for a report due back by Sept. 16 for its potential inclusion in next year’s city budget.