Tag Archives: Merritt Island

Here We Grow Again!

LIV Communities to develop the Northern Reach lands with residential and commercial units, enhanced access to canal trails and Merritt Island

WELLAND  – The lands known as the Northern Reach, situated to the west of the recreational canal from Woodlawn Road north to Merritt Road, will be developed by LIV Communities.

Welland City Council confirmed LIV Communities would develop the nearly 62 hectares of waterfront property in the city with between 3,800 and 4,500 residential units. The development will contain a mixed-use residential and a commercial block that features outdoor patio areas with a canal and park views.  

“This development will showcase our city’s natural beauty along the canal.,” said Steve Zorbas, CAO. “With splash pads, playgrounds, washrooms, and more in the central and neighbourhood parks, our community is afforded some wonderful amenities to enjoy and get active; we’re excited to see LIV’s vision come to life.”

LIV Communities will develop a gateway feature in the area where the proposed pedestrian-inspired Market Street connects with the designed shared street. This area will include traffic calming features and low-speed limits leading to a central park. Also included are splash pads, playgrounds, public washrooms, and more in the park areas. Dock launch stations for non-motorized watercraft will also be included.

Additionally, the developer will create road and pedestrian connections to existing city infrastructure and the Seaway Mall and improve street networks and accessibility, resulting in greater connectivity to the Canal Trail system for neighbours west of the Northern Reach. A major connection in the development includes the pedestrian bridge from Merritt Island to the Seawall Mall area.

LIV Communities will also work with the City to explore the feasibility of a potential beach area or alternate public swimming feature adjacent to the Canal Trail to further animate and complement the recreational canal.  

As a community partner, LIV Communities will contribute $50,000 per year for 10 years for the naming right to a City-owned Facility.


“This development will showcase our city’s natural beauty along the canal,” said Steve Zorbas, CAO.

(Attribution: City of Welland news release)

Lunch Date: Feathered Friends

Enjoyable experiences watching birds on Welland’s Merritt Island this week! Top: Black-capped Chickadee; centre: female Downy Woodpecker; and bottom: northern Blue Jay. I tapped into birder Brad Clements’ expertise for the woodpecker identification. He pegged it as a female Downy because it lacks a red patch at the top of its head. One of these days, hope to eyeball an eagle reportedly spotted on the island, in the area of the Woodlawn Bridge. Haven’t yet seen it, but that’s what folks say. /Photos by Joe Barkovich.

Frozen In Time

The scenery was breathtaking along Welland’s Merritt Island early this morning thanks to vestiges of the winter storm earlier in the week and the continuing cold temps (-17 when this photo was taken) – brrr! Only a handful of walkers were out early to test the elements but they were rewarded for their bravery and commitment to the trail, rewarded with sights, still frozen in time, that left nature’s admirers in wide-eyed awe. More to follow. / Photo by Joe Barkovich)

The Poignancy Along The Merritt Island Trails

Part 3 in the ‘Christmas Presents’ series

By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

WELLAND – Spots along Merritt Island’s trails have been decorated with love and remembrance this time of year.

It is so poignant.

No matter how many times we walk the trails, especially the upper one, I take a few minutes to admire the tinsel, tree ornaments, memorabilia and other items put in place by family and/or friends of those who have passed.

Some Christmases there have been many of these decorated trees and benches, some years not so. This year is one of the latter. Not all displays are seasonal, some are for extended periods or even year round.

I returned Tuesday morning for a last-minute walk of a portion of the upper trail after not having been there for maybe a couple of weeks.  

Good to see  that many decorations still were in their places, withstanding high winds and rain that came earlier in the month. But I remember talking to another walker who said at least one of the decorated sites was taken down last month after being buffeted by angry winds.

I know these beautiful, moving tributes to passed loved ones touch the hearts of others on the trail because I am not the only one who gives them pause and thought.

Tuesday,  I watched as a couple of walkers who were ahead of me stopped to gather up two decorations that had fallen from branches and return them to the tree.

“Love lives here,” the young woman said as I stopped nearby. “This is such a special place.”

Next in the Christmas Presents series: Exclusive! Meet Mrs. Claus!!!! Publication: Thursday, December 23.

The Lower Trail’s Yellow Brown Leafy Carpet

Merritt Island’s lower trail was protected from the wind and cold compared to the earlier trek along the upper trail. The walk late this morning with outdoors lover Ron Lemon was enhanced by the hues of late fall, graciously painting fallen, wind blown leaves strewn across the (can I use this word?) iconic trail along the Welland River. Empty tree limbs, gloomy in their nakedness, and occasional dustings of snow atop the fallen leaves reminded us of what’s ahead, when cold winds howl and slate gray skies signal seasonal intrusions of countless flakes, soon to blanket the trail walker’s urban getaway, escapism at its enriching best./ Words, photos by Joe Barkovich.