Mayor Rick Maloney and members of Council together with Kelly Miles from the Rotary Club of Bracebridge cut the ribbon today to officially open the new observation deck in the urban forest on the Woodchester property. The unique shape of the wood structure draws inspiration from Woodchester itself, one of the oldest residences in Bracebridge, recognized for its octagonal shape.
Positioned to overlook the Muskoka River, the newly constructed observation deck creates a great attraction for both residents and visitors to enjoy a new viewpoint and perspective of Downtown Bracebridge and acts as a destination for walkers, runners, and cyclists.
Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Rural Economic Development (RED) Fund, the observation deck is part of a series of initiatives to enhance the area including the addition of a storybook trail, park benches and picnic tables, enhanced historical lighting, and new wayfinding signage. The Town received $47,500 in RED funding to support all aspects of the initiative, as well as a $5,000 contribution from the Rotary Club of Bracebridge to support construction of the observation deck.
The Town of Bracebridge encourages long-term economic development and growth and is committed to the implementation of the Downtown Master Plan (DMP). Approved in 2021, the DMP was developed through extensive community input and outlines recommended uses, design characteristics and opportunities to strengthen Downtown Bracebridge’s ability to support a high quality of life and economic prosperity.
The addition of the observation deck is one component of the first project initiated under the DMP and aims to enhance the site’s public use and bring attention to this underutilized historic site, which aligns with Council’s priority to support community vibrancy, health and well-being.
Woodchester is rich in history, natural beauty and elegance. Visitors are encouraged to visit this historic property to experience its beauty from season to season. Woodchester also acts as the perfect venue for small events of up to 40 people.
To learn more about the history of Woodchester, venue rentals and more, visit bracebridge.ca/woodchester.
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