“I still think it would be a cost-effective way to give citizens something to do,” said Councillor Antonios Tsourounakis, during a phone interview.
During the January 19 council session, Tsourounakis suggested the municipality look into the feasibility of creating a cross-country ski track that would circle around Confederation Park. He indicated such a track would cost little to develop and maintain, would provide a free recreation opportunity for residents dealing with limited travel options during the pandemic, and also help encourage more use of the municipal park.
Most council members expressed interest in the idea but also doubt that it would be feasible because of the park’s location alongside the Ottawa River. The main objection was that the park is too exposed during winter and that skiers would suffer from the cold winds blowing off the river. Several councilors also noted that residents have Old Mill Park and other neighbourhood parks available for outdoor recreation activities during winter.
Councillor Tsourounakis indicated during a later interview that he will continue to pursue the idea of ski track at Confederation Park. He will check into what type of temporary windbreaks might be feasible for the park and also the park’s potential to serve as the site for a winter festival for Hawkesbury similar to Ottawa’s annual Winterlude.