Life has its ups and downs; triumphs and tragedies; successes and challenges. Looking back over the past 12 months, though, it’s clear 2016 had plenty of positive vibes for Fort Frances and Rainy River District.
Topping the list, of course, is New Gold’s continued progress on its Rainy River Project north of Barwick. The number of jobs on-site keeps growing as construction of the mine rolls towards a scheduled start-up of production in mid-2017.
The spin-off benefits enjoyed by district businesses also is having a major impact.
Here in town, construction of the five-unit Edgewood townhomes along the riverfront is directly correlated to the mine, as has been the renovation, relocation, or expansion of various businesses. Sales of the 16 lots at Huffman Court also picked up dramatically over the past year.
As well, work is slated to begin this spring on the Rainy Lake Market Square, which can’t help but be an improvement—both aesthetically and financially—to the downtown core.
On the health front, four new doctors signed on to practise here. Then just last week, the Riverside Foundation for Health Care announced it now can issue tax receipts for donations of much-needed funds earmarked specifically for doctor recruitment and retention here.
And we ended the year with word that the local Salvation Army recorded a record-breaking Christmas campaign in terms of donations of money, toys, and food—yet another indication of the incredible generosity district residents are renowned for.
Hey, even Premier Kathleen Wynne graced us with her presence during a brief visit back in August.
Toss in the Muskie boys’ hockey team’s fourth provincial gold medal, coupled with an OFSAA silver medal for the Muskie boys’ curling rink, and there was plenty to celebrate this past year.
With an optimistic attitude and continued commitment to forge ahead together, there’s no reason why 2017 can’t bring more of the same.