By Anne Robinson
These hot, lazy summer days have brought lots of people out to Mahogany Harbour – boaters, swimmers, those who like to fish, paddle board, train for the iron man, or just savour the view with a coffee in hand!
Recent posts on local social media said that a swimmer told a boater, who was trying to dock at Mahogany, that the facility was only for swimmers. Not true! This dock was always intended for ‘multi-use’ and it was hoped that users would resolve any potential conflicts…and there are always conflicts – amongst boaters – motorized and non-motorized; amongst those who seek solitude and those who want to make a splash; between young and old; tourists and locals.
Some BIA members are concerned that boaters can’t dock due to the volume of swimmers and therefore their businesses aren’t being patronized to the extent that they could be.
Some residents have complained about the danger of turning on to Main St. from Eastman… although, it certainly isn’t any more dangerous than getting out of Beaverwood or Mill St. on to Main St.
Others have complained about the parking. Although the Manotick United Church parking lot is available, rarely full, and not much more than a full block away, people insist on parking on the doorstep of the Mahogany dock.
No one anticipated how popular this small Landing would be…from paddle board yoga to birthday celebrations, this community has truly embraced this jewel on the back channel of the Rideau.
Historically, let’s remember that Mahogany Landing, a project led by Manotick Culture, Parks and Recreation Association (MCPRA), was built through a collective community effort – $50,000 from MCPRA (Chic Time in the ‘Tick), $25,000 from the Kiwanis Club of Manotick, $15,000 from Ottawa Tourism, $15,000 Rural Ottawa grant, $10,000 from Manotick BIA, and at least $50,000+ from individuals and private corporations for ‘in-kind’ services and amenities.
So, what’s the short-term solution? Be gentle with each other and stay safe. Boats need to proceed slowly to the dock; swimmers need to give boaters passage; and fishing folks need to cast carefully or go early. As an example, two pontoon boats recently tied up, side-by-side, to take less room at the dock – now that’s creative and thoughtful.
Surely, we don’t want to start eliminating uses or ‘policing’ the area because people can’t work it out. And we don’t need more signs to clutter the view. So, respectfully, share the harbour! It’s for everyone.
In the longer term, to relieve some of the current pressure, MCPRA would like to pursue an extension to the Mahogany dock – another 50 feet. This extension was shown in the original concept design and indicated through the permitting process. However, the funding is not currently in place.
Perhaps other windows to the Rideau should be explored – repairing or replacing the dilapidated dock, owned by the City, at the end of Tighe St.; assessing other public access areas for complementary uses.
Meanwhile, Mahogany is popular … so, let’s celebrate this little gem and respectfully share this tremendous resource!
Mahogany Landing is a gem along the Rideau that should be celebrated.