The Sault College Waterfront Adventure Centre opens for its first full summer season on Tuesday, says Waterfront and Recreation Supervisor Phil Dittburner.
Stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and even the rescue boat seem to almost be eager to get out on the water after not a lot of use since the centre opened after extensive remodelling in 2019.
It closed for the season in the fall of 2019 and COVID kept it closed for the summer 2020 season. In the summer of 2021, it opened to limited usage under strict COVID safety guidelines, and Dittburner said it was very well received by students and other members as well.
"We had some international students come out and learn to kayak and stand-up paddleboard," Dittburner said. "There was a lot of laughing, happy people coming off the water when it was all done for the day."
While the centre is free to use for Sault College students, memberships are also available to the general public and there are drop-in rates for the facilities as well.
The centre has tennis, pickle ball and beach volleyball courts available for members and students or at hourly rental rates.
Watercraft such as stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and canoes are also available for members to use or for rent by the hour or for a half-day.
New this year will be bicycle rentals. Currently, one bike is at the centre with another five expected to be available for pickup soon.
Also new this year will be beach volleyball league competition with eight teams signed up so far, and morning fitness classes being held outside on the patio.
"We got a very good response to beach volleyball and are expecting more teams to sign up," Dittburner said.
Also on-site at the Waterfront Adventure Centre is a licensed, eat-in dining area with a fantastic view of the river. Currently, seating is only available inside, but once the umbrellas and tables are delivered, there will be room for another 100 people to sit outside and enjoy a bite to eat when they aren't bicycling, playing on the courts or on the water.
"We also have a partnership with the Marconi Hall for food," Dittburner said. "If people call ahead or order when they get here, we can have the food they order here and ready for them when they come in off the courts or the water."
The former RYTAC centre was bequeathed to the college by the Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda Charitable Foundation, and its remodelling and renovations were paid for in part by generous donations from supporters.
"We're always looking for more support," says Dittburner. "We're looking at getting a fundraising campaign going later this summer."
He said they are looking at repairs and upgrades that would be needed to open another tennis court at the centre.