In need of engine power, The Boathouse is becalmed for the summer.
That’s the frustrating news learned in recent weeks about the facility in beautiful Victoria Park that was, by popular demand, scheduled to reopen in early June.
Instead, for numerous bewildering reasons, the upgraded restaurant and music facility complete with a $350,000 new and improved patio will remain closed until mid-September.
Which means the Boathouse doors and its concession window will be locked for all summer events including the Blues Festival.
Meanwhile, thousands of summer visitors to the park will be confronted by a boathouse construction site while city taxpayers forfeit at least $5,000 rent.
One of the variety of causes given for the delay has to do with the fact that hydro supply has to be upgraded to adequately power the 110-seat restaurant and music facility planned by Imbibe Entertainment Inc. since last November.
Other unpleasant surprises include mechanical and heritage issues at the building where the city plans to invest $410,000 for interior upgrades. Meanwhile, Imbibe owners have signed a 10-year lease and will spend an additional $168,000 on inside improvements.
Because I have had concerns about Boathouse costs, problems and delays for the past month, I asked staff a series of questions at a recent council meeting.
I was told that they do not anticipate that recent renovation surprises at the building will result in additional taxpayer costs.
I was also told there was no way the hydro, mechanical and heritage problems could have been predicted despite the fact the boathouse is scheduled to double in size and is located in the heart of a heritage park.
Strange that we would not have known about the power shortage and mechanical-heritage issues during a year when the development has been subjected to such intense public scrutiny.
Let’s hope this facility, which has such amazing lakeside potential, quickly gets back on course.