Husky the Muskie to Make a Bigger Splash in Kenora
KENORA – The Ontario government is providing $493,077 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to the City of Kenora to restore Husky the Muskie and refurbish McLeod Park, which include repairs, accessibility upgrades and new attractions. This investment will build a stronger Ontario by revitalizing the harbourfront area, helping attract tourists and boosting economic growth in the Northwest.
“Kenora has come a long way from its pulp and paper mill beginnings,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “Together, we have transformed Kenora into a tourist and lifestyle destination of choice. Today’s provincial funding will further complement and grow what this community has achieved.”
The City of Kenora will use this funding to repair and repaint Husky the Muskie, a 40-foot-tall outdoor sculpture of a muskellunge fish, restoring it to its original lustre and appearance. Funding will also be used for renovations to McLeod Park, including accessibility improvements, lighting and washroom upgrades, tugboat refurbishments and construction of a playground, picnic area, fishing pier and amphitheatre. The two projects are part of the city’s Harbourfront Business Development Plan and will support public amenity enhancements and commercial development opportunities in the harbourfront area.
“The City of Kenora is thankful to the Ontario government for supporting this exciting project,” said Daniel Reynard, Mayor of Kenora. “The funding support provided for the revitalization of Husky the Muskie will ensure that a sculpture of national recognition continues to be an iconic attraction for local residents and seasonal visitors. Further, the funding for new amenities at McLeod Park, such as a children’s play area, will enhance the park’s position as a gateway to Harbourtown Centre – the downtown core of our community.”
“Husky the Muskie is a local legend — the 12-metre-tall muskellunge has stood as a town symbol in the City of Kenora for 55 years,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Originally built to celebrate Canada’s centennial, the now famous roadside attraction is just one reason to visit this beautiful Northern Ontario city. Today’s announcement boosts regional employment, attracts more visitors and reignites Kenora’s sense of community and pride of place, while ensuring Husky the Muskie remains a beloved mascot, tourist attraction and an ambassador for preventing water pollution.”
The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects — big and small, rural and urban — that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $473 million in 4,244 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.5 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 6,600 jobs.
- In February 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.