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(VIDEO) Nancy Island Visitor Centre to Reopen When Safe

(July 13, 2020) The Nancy Island Visitor Centre in Wasaga Beach may soon be reopened.

Responding to a question today from Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson regarding the Nancy Island Visitor Centre, Ontario's Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek said, "My ministry is going to be working with stakeholders, the Friends of Nancy Island and Wasaga Beach town to find a solution for it, so we continue to provide a safe area for folks that are coming to that area and ensure that information services are available for tourists and people visiting the area."

The Visitor Centre did not open this summer when the province announced that the Historic Site on Nancy Island would remain closed after having experienced extensive flooding damage. In his question to the Minister, MPP Wilson pointed out that the two are separate facilities and that the Information Centre is not on the flood-damaged island.

It is also jointly run as a partnership, said Wilson, "by Ontario Parks, the Town of Wasaga Beach, South Georgian Bay Tourism and the Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce. And it is staffed by The Friends of Nancy Island, a charitable voluntary organization dedicated to furthering educational and interpretive programs."

"Wasaga Beach and area is a prime priority for this province to ensure that we're able to support them and their town as they reopen due to COVID-19," responded Minister Yurek. "Whatever Parks Ontario can do to ensure their support, as they bring in more tourists, we will be there to support that community and ensure that they are growing and back from COVID-19." Decisions, he added, will be based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The Nancy Island Visitor Centre is critical to the success of the Wasaga Beach tourist industry.

Echoing MPP Wilson's concerns, Wasaga Beach mayor Nina Bifolchi has asked Mr. Yurek to authorize the opening of the Centre. In a letter, she said, "Our business community depends on the Centre in the summer months to help make sure that visitors feel welcome and informed about all that Wasaga Beach has to offer." She added, "With the provincial park now open and visitors requiring details about the park and its beaches, the centre has a role to play more than ever to ensure safe physical distancing."

In addition to providing guests with information on the areas' natural and cultural history, the Centre's volunteer staff direct travellers to many of the attractions the community and the park have to offer.


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