New accessible dock now floating in place at Fredericton's Killarney Lake

The City of Fredericton and the Fredericton North Rotary Club are working together to improve access to the water this summer for people with mobility issues.

Killarney Lake and Morell Park will have docks that have a large floating pad with a cradle for holding watercraft in place, such as canoes or kayaks, allowing people with limited mobility to get in and out safely, without fear of capsizing.

"Anyone who has any kind of mobility issues, who wants to feel a little bit more stable getting into their kayak, they come here and they're all set," said Deputy Mayor Jocelyn Pike at the opening of the first such dock, at Killarney Lake, this week.

The dock project is supported by a $50,000 donation from the Fredericton North Rotary Club, as a part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of Rotary service in Fredericton.

Fredericton North Rotary Club's Bonny Hoyt-Hallett in front of new Killarney Accessibility dock.
Fredericton North Rotary Club's Bonny Hoyt-Hallett says they approached the city looking for a legacy project and these docks were the result. (Shane Fowler)

The club's work with the city is part of a larger initiative to be more inclusive.

The club's Bonny Hoyt-Hallet said they approached the city looking for a legacy project and these docks were the result.

"We need to make sure everybody gets to enjoy the great outdoors … regardless of their ability, so people with varying abilities can now do the same things they see everybody else doing," she said.

The dock features a 12-foot platform, with an accompanying ramp from the shore.

Pike said these docks are "extremely important" for making the city's waterways more accessible, including for herself.

"Having been mobility-challenged myself over the last few years, this is amazing. This is something that I would feel comfortable trying kayaking now," said Pike.

"Now I can come out here with my husband, who does paddle boarding. Before I couldn't even do that."

The club is looking forward to working with the city on future projects.

"They have the same ideas and goals that we do to get everybody out on a beautiful day like today and out on the water," said Pike.

The second dock will open in the coming weeks at Morell Park on the south side of the St. John River. The dock will include a transfer bar to help people in and out of watercraft.

Ruth Breen, chair of the city's livable community committee, announced that additional accessible docks will be launched later this summer.

Fredericton River Centre, formerly known as the Small Craft Aquatic Centre, and Carleton Park will be the next locations.