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Railway tunnel in Brockville, Ont. to open Friday

After a delayed start to the 2024 season, the city of Brockville, Ont. says Canada’s First Railway Tunnel will open to the public next week.

“We are excited to announce that the Brockville Railway Tunnel will open for the 2024 season on Friday, May 17th,” the city said in a statement last week.

The Brockville Railway Tunnel is a free attraction located right near city hall. It typically opens on Easter weekend and closes sometime in the fall, but an issue with the lighting system prevented the tunnel from opening on time.

“We have people opening their boats for the season, getting out on the Thousand Islands cruises, the patios are opening up. So we really wanted to open up the tunnel, for this weekend specifically,” said Lyndsay Bigley, a marketing officer for Brockville Tourism.

Visitors can walk the entire stretch of 500 metres, which runs underneath downtown Brockville. The tunnel, which was built in 1860, features a light show which reflects onto the walls and illuminates the historic architecture.

The reason behind the delayed start was some of the multi-coloured lights were failing due to the dampness of the tunnel. The city wanted to ensure the production was running 100 per cent before opening for the year.

Despite the announced opening, the lights are not completely fixed. The city says a solution has been found, but will take months to implement.

“It’s not going to be back to the full light and light and sound show that it first opened with back in 2018,” Bigley said.

In the meantime, white lights will be featured instead of the full multi-coloured show that typically takes place.

“We will continue to work on repairs and upgrades to bring back the colour show in all its glory,” reads the statement. “As soon as the required parts arrive and can be installed and programmed, which we estimate will be mid summer, the show will be back in full force.”

The city added that once the parts arrive, the tunnel may need to close again for a week for installation.

“It’s really driving people to visit our restaurants, to visit our other attractions. So even if they’re just stopping by the tunnel and checking out some of the other businesses it’s a really, really great thing for Brockville,” Bigley said.

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