An iconic piece of Galt’s history was given a new lease on life Thursday (Aug. 31) morning.
A small crowd gathered in Queen’s Square in front of the Centennial Fountain to watch Mayor Doug Craig, Cambridge MP Bryan May and a small group of children turn on the refurbished fountain.
Work began on the $250,000 renewal project this summer and it was completed last week. The cost of the project was split between the city, province and federal government’s Canada Infrastructure Program for Canada150.
“This fountain was built in 1967 in honour of Canada’s centennial. It’s only fitting that is it being rebuilt with Canada150 funding,” said May during the opening ceremony.
The federal government contributed $83,250 to the project. Queen’s Square was originally donated to the municipality by the Dickson family and has since become a place to gather and a community hub. The fountain was added at the foot of the square in 1967 with funding provided by Gore Mutual Insurance.
“This fountain has become a significant and important part of our community,” said Craig. “It’s representative of what’s happening in the city.”
He went on to reference the ongoing work on the new pedestrian bridge, whose twin spans were delivered to the riverfront – downstream to the fountain – on Wednesday (Aug. 30), and on the old Galt post office building. Deputy City Manager Hardy Bromberg told the gathering that in renovating the aging fountain the city has improved its accessibility, lighting and “provides a more public useable space.”
Work on the fountain included replacing the seating around the pool with a narrower concrete bench. The Russian Gun at the top of the fountain was moved about two metres to provide better sight lines. Cracks in the pool bottom were repaired and its steps straightened. Coloured concrete banding was added at the edges of the walkways and seating to make them more visible. Slopes around the fountain were also reduced to improve accessibility.
Although construction around the fountain is substantially complete, further work needs to be done. In the coming weeks, new concrete planters and decorative elements will be installed.