Ottawa funds museum work
BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL
Staff The washrooms at the Glengarry Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum will be upgraded this year with the help of a federal grant.
According to South Glengarry general manager of infrastructure services Ewen MacDonald, the municipality received an email in late January from Service Canada indicating that an application submitted to the federal
(EAF) program in July 2018 had been approved.
The $16,510 grant – administered through the EAF’s Community Accessibility Stream – covers roughly two-thirds of the overall $24,500 cost of the project to renovate the museum’s washroom facilities.
The remaining $8,890 has been included as a capital maintenance item in the township’s 2019 budget.
Mr. MacDonald added that council has the option of drawing the shortfall from the township’s museum reserve. The renovation project proposes replacing the two existing “outdated” washrooms with one barrier-free facility, thus removing accessibility barriers and increasing accessibility and/or safety for people with disabilities.
In his staff report – a copy of which was included in the agenda for the February 4 regular council meeting – Mr. MacDonald explains that barrier-free access at the museum has “become a major concern over the years” because there is no barrier-free washroom on the main floor and the only access to the second floor “is a steep staircase.”
He also points out that the museum – originally built as a school in 1862 and which opened as a museum in 1967 – has not undergone any major renovations in approximately 50 years.
“Upgrades are necessary to ensure safety, energy efficiency, efficient use of space and barrier-free accessibility,” said Mr. MacDonald.
He also stated that the project will “meet the requirements of Ontario Regulation 429/07 that was created under the Accessibility for
2005 (AODA)” as well. Under the AODA, provincial municipalities must have all accessibility standards – dealing with customer service; employment; information and communications; design of public spaces; and transportation – implemented by 2025.
UPGRADES: The Williamstown museum will undergo renovations to improve washrooms, thanks to a federal government grant.