How Georgetown, P.E.I. is making its waterfront more accessible for paddlers and other boaters

The wheelchair-accessible launch point allows a user to slide into a kayak or canoe before launching, by means of an extendable bench as illustrated here.  (Peter Llewellyn/Facebook - image credit)
The wheelchair-accessible launch point allows a user to slide into a kayak or canoe before launching, by means of an extendable bench as illustrated here. (Peter Llewellyn/Facebook - image credit)

Visitors to the eastern P.E.I. community of Georgetown can now pop in by canoe or kayak, thanks to a new dock that stretches out into the harbour.

Debbie Johnston, mayor of the Town of Three Rivers, which includes Georgetown, said she hopes the day dock will give people a new way to visit and enjoy the community.

"It's designed so you can pull in for a couple of hours with your small craft or any paddleboards or kayaks, things like that."

She said the dock project started out small, but then they decided to refurbish a nearby building to turn it into a welcome centre.

"We're hearing very positive things about this from the residents in Georgetown," she said. "This is just a great opportunity for people that want to take advantage of our rivers."

Johnston said the completed dock and welcome centre together cost about $300,000.

Three Rivers Mayor Debbie Johnston is happy the amendment passed.
Three Rivers Mayor Debbie Johnston is happy the amendment passed.

Three Rivers Mayor Debbie Johnston said that town wants to take full advantage of its rivers, including the Brudenell and Montague rivers that flow into the Northumberland Strait just off Georgetown. (Tony Davis/CBC)

"We'd like to think it's another option for people staying in the area. For example, if you're staying in Brudenell, you might take a kayak or a canoe and paddle over to Georgetown, and spend some time in the day dock, and go back."

'Totally accessible'

Dorothy MacDonald is the manager of community services for the town of Three Rivers. She said part of the criteria when they applied for funding was that the dock be accessible for people with mobility issues.

"There are kayak launches throughout P.E.I., but I'm not really aware of another one that's totally accessible," she said.

Some of the paddle-sport launches on other P.E.I. tidal rivers and seashores can be "kind of challenging," MacDonald said. "You have to come at them at full speed and kind of drive your kayak all the way into them."

The dock in Georgetown could be a starting point for a larger installation, she said.

"We would like to get further out into the water... and eventually we would be able to handle larger craft."

The option to rent kayaks and paddleboards isn't available yet at the site, but MacDonald said that's in the works.