Burritts Rapids is a unique place, both in geography and people. It’s divided into two parts. The part that lies between the two bridges (the island) is within the Municipality of North Grenville. The part that is across the river (Donnelly Drive) lies within the City of Ottawa.
Despite the fact that the Burritts Rapids Community Hall is in North Grenville, the forty people who attended the Annual General Meeting learned that the City of Ottawa generously contributes money annually to the Burritts Rapids Community Association (BRCA). Ottawa granted $9,610 to the BRCA, while North Grenville granted $881. City of Ottawa Councillor for the Rideau Goulbourn Ward, Scott Moffat, Recreation and Community Development Officer Raynor Boutet, and North Grenville Council members Donovan Arnaud, Frank Onasanya and Barb Tobin attended the meeting.
Chairperson Inge van Gemeren’s annual report highlighted a number of the BRCA’s accomplishments over the past year. These are listed in the article on the Community Hall renovations in this issue. Despite some upcoming challenges, like significant repair work being done on the swing bridge (expected to take 6-8 months) starting in the new year, and the apparent loss of interest on behalf of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville to initiate traffic calming measures, the BRCA has many things to look forward to in the coming year, according to Inge. More grant funding is expected to be approved in 2018, many upgrades to washroom facilities will be made, and the anticipated growth of the “Friends of the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall” endowment fund, which very recently reached its critical milestone of $5,000 in funds raised. The continued growth of this fund could potentially mean that the fund could “remove some of the burden of fundraising currently borne by the BRCA”.
After attending the meeting, it’s abundantly clear that this small, but mighty, community is thriving and actively pursuing a bright future for itself. Whether it’s pursuing government funding, or organizing the multitude of events that happen within the hamlet, the BRCA and its volunteers are a model of pride, strength and perseverance. I suspect future residents of Burritts Rapids will be able to enjoy the use of the Hall and community activities for many years to come, thanks to the remarkable people who are building a very strong community foundation today.