Bridge the Gap Campaign

Bridge Dedication Event – July 21, 2022

Donors and their families joined the Waterford Heritage Trail Association on Thursday, July 21, for a small dedication ceremony. We met at the newly installed East Gap Bridge for the official opening and donor Recognition sign reveal. It was great to see so many members of our community, as well as trail and bridge friends!

Dedication message

Good Evening. Back in 2013, we installed the little bridge, it was donated to us by Haldimand county. We just supplied the trucking. They loaded it up with a crane and we transported it here. Extra material that we recovered from the deck we were able to reuse for two separate boardwalks. Norfolk County Promised us a bridge as well. In the intervening years, we were promised by successive administrations that we would have that bridge allocated to this site. Yet in 2019/20 the whole deal fell thru. By late 2020, we made a decision to try to raise the funds.

During the winter months of 2021, we made plans for the campaign. We had 20% already. We had received a substantial donation from Marion Anderson a couple of years earlier that we had reserved for a bridge. We had hoped that the county bridge would have been in place already. By now Marion had sadly passed away but her contribution formed a substantial part of the campaign start-up funds. We started the drive in late May/June. The response was quite simply overwhelming. You are all here because in one way or another you were part of it.

The idea here tonight is to pay tribute to everyone equally. But I did mention Marion and I must mention one other supporter. This is Brig Gen Bernard Johnson, born and raised in Norfolk county. He left to join the war effort in and around 1940. Although he never returned to live here he never forgot the home of his formative years. His very substantial contribution made our project possible so quickly and by late August, we had reached our goal. We sent a purchase order to Eagle Bridge, Derrick Grift. (worked on a design that complemented the existing structures) They delivered on schedule as promised and on November 10, 2021, Amherst Crane lifted the new structure into place.

The project would not have proceeded as speedily as it did without the diligent work of Ryan Elliot of G Douglas Vallee Engineering and the cooperation of Bonnie Brevener of the LPRCA. Lastly, I must mention your WHTA executives and committee members. President Terry Bonnet, Frank Woodcock, Secretary and Shadow Lake Committee members Katherine Mccurdy Lapierre, Secretary, Ross Coomber, Treasurer, Members Dave Lapierre, Mike Mcdonnell and Doug Gatward.

So we are here to recognize the contributions that this community made to make this happen. Whether you are a local business, service group or individual, we together demonstrated that Waterford can make things happen. So heartfelt thanks and congratulations to all who contributed.

Now I will now ask Allen Hayes and Keith Hayes Nephews of Marion To Come forward and do the unveiling.

Thank you to our Bridge the Gap donors

Patron

  • Marion Anderson
  • Caradoc Townsend Mutual
  • Bernard Johnson
  • Andrew Kooistra
  • Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise
  • John & Willie Stam
  • Villages of Waterford Inc
  • Waterford Lions Club

Supporter

  • Marilyn Antkiw
  • James (Jim) Mudge*
  • Ryan Elliott
  • John Fitzsimon
  • Walter Gardner
  • Bruce Gillespie
  • Robert Judd
  • Bonnie Kooistra-Kissack
  • Edward Kruis
  • Lafarge Canada Inc.
  • Dave, Katherine & Evangeline Lapierre
  • Karen & Steve Lindsay
  • Gordon, Betty & John McCurdy*
  • Michael McDonnell
  • Lori Mckeil
  • Betty Pajor
  • Beth & Mike Redden
  • Round Plains Ginseng
  • Ryerse Garden Centre
  • William A. & Theresa M. Schandl (Doucette)*
  • Timothy Sheldon
  • Josephina Skoblenick
  • Jon Tollenaar
  • G. Douglas Vallee Ltd
  • Maro, Anne & Brian Vanrooy
  • Waterford Lioness Club
  • Marc Wilkinson

Friend

  • Ronald Anderson
  • Annabelle, Georgia, James & Dolly*
  • Richard Baranowski
  • Mark Bucholtz
  • Brian Burke
  • Richard & Jill Chuli
  • Ross Coomber
  • Lois Cottrell
  • Michele Crowley*
  • Sandra Croley
  • Ann Culp
  • Vienna Dalby
  • Patricia Earls
  • John & Ann Fitzsimon
  • Paul & Irene Greentree
  • Tara Hewitt
  • Abby Huffman
  • Katharine Hibbins
  • Kimberly Holden
  • Gerry Hollahan
  • Colleen Jameson-Homme
  • Sharon Kaye
  • Christine & John Kazakevicius
  • Murray Kidd
  • Jessie Kingma
  • Kyle Kovacs
  • Mike Krok
  • Cornelius & Mary Koopman
  • Joeen Donaldson*
  • Helena Marr
  • Garry & Pamela Mather
  • James McAlister
  • Chrisy Pajor-Offless
  • Ben Oliveira
  • Andrew Pearce
  • Amanda Perry
  • Macey Poursanidis
  • Pearl-Ann Prieur
  • Stephanie Rice
  • Cathy Rusling
  • Ruth Salerne
  • The Schimpky Family
  • Blaine & Sherry
  • Schell Peter & Alma Scovil
  • Casey Schelock
  • Christina Sheppard
  • Morris Shepherd
  • Ron & Stephanie Sinden
  • Susan Slater
  • Albert Steinbach
  • Lyle Torrance
  • Doug & Pam Turner
  • Mrs. Nellie Dew*
  • Patricia Wallace
  • Raymond Watt*
  • Waterford Greenwood Cemetery
  • Keith & Melody
  • Welsh Mary-Ellen Wiebe
  • Garry & Rachelle Witham
  • Janet Woynarski
  • Neil Unwin
  • David Zeldon

As well as the many Facebook Fundraiser, PayPal Giving Fund and other anonymous donors.

*In honour of


October 2, 2021: Thank you—we did it!

Bridge the gap team

From left to right, Frank Woodcock, Katherine McCurdy-Lapierre and Andy Kooistra—three of the Bridge the Gap fundraising campaign members—celebrate reaching the goal.

The campaign received more than 100 donations over the course of three and a half months. The amount raised for a new pedestrian bridge was in excess of $124,000. The committee thanks the residents of Waterford and those beyond for their enthusiastic support. Way to Go Waterford!

The new bridge will create:

  • a complete loop along the banks of Shadow Lake
  • a longer trail for walking, biking and running
  • scenery for our community to enjoy
  • a fully accessible experience for all users of the Shadow Lake Trail!

Read more news about the bridge install. 


October 27, 2021: Thank you to Rotary and Sun Life Insurance

Andy Kooistra met with representatives of Rotary and Sun Life Insurance to acknowledge a gift presented this summer in support of the Bridge the Gap campaign.

Rotary and Sun Life Insurance

On the left is Sun Life representative Brent McKay, McKay Insurance. Brent received corporate recognition for his many and varied professional and community achievements and was consequently given the honour of choosing charities that would receive support from the fund that accompanied his award.

Brent chose to make a contribution to The Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise with the intention that the funds would be passed on to the Bridge the Gap project. On hand was Louise Schebesch, President of Sunrise Rotary, to congratulate Brent and thank him and Sun Life for the support.

The Shadow Lake Group sincerely thanks Brent, SunLife and Rotary Norfolk Sunrise for helping bring our goal to fruition.


Waterford’s rail history

During the golden age of rail in the first decades of the 20th century, Waterford was the junction point of three railroads. An intricate intersection of switches and track alignments allowed trains to transfer from one rail line to another to head in a different direction. Trains could even be turned around to travel the opposite direction on the same line.

Viewed from the north, the intersection appears as a “Y” shape with bridges on both arms spanning the Waterford Ponds. These bridges were removed in the 1990s when the rail beds were dismantled.

The “East Gap” as it became known, requires a bridge to complete the Shadow Lake Trail loop.

Y intersection

Above: a steam train approaches from the north heading towards the “East Gap” bridge to the right of the photograph. Note the lack of vegetation between the arms of the “Y” in this undated photograph.

Steam train crossing east bridge in Waterford

Above: a steam train crosses the “East Gap” bridge in this undated photograph. Note how the vegetation has changed.

Map of historic Waterford rail lines

Above: this undated hand-drawn depiction of the Waterford junction shows the location and number of tracks and sidings, structures and some geographic features. Note: North is to the right.