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Canada’s first railway tunnel in Brockville, Ont. has delayed start to 2024 season

One of the largest tourist attractions in Brockville, Ont. is having a delayed start to the 2024 season due to issues with its lighting system.

Canada’s First Railway Tunnel is a free attraction located right near Brockville City Hall. It typically opens on Easter weekend and closes sometime in the fall.

The tunnel saw its last trains pass through it in 1970 and has since been reincorporated as a walking path with a colourful light show.

But this year, its opening has been pushed back a few weeks, due to what the city describes as “challenges with the lighting system.”

“The issues go beyond regular maintenance,” the city said in a statement released last week. “Numerous components of the tunnel light show have prematurely failed resulting in additional work to open for the 2024 season.”

The complications with the tunnel have cost the city roughly $120,000. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, but it’s free to use for visitors.

The city of Brockville has invested more money in maintaining its historic landmarks over the past few years. The tunnel was built in 1860 and stretches over 500 metres under the city’s downtown.

This historic tunnel was completed 21 years before construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway began and predates the rail tunnels in the Western Rockies, according to the attraction’s website.

The city had hoped to have it open in time for Monday’s total solar eclipse. The tunnel is located right at the entrance to Blockhouse Island, where large crowds gathered to watch the eclipse.

The city says they are hoping the tunnel will be open again in the coming weeks.

This story will be updated.

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