Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization Update: Shovels in the ground at last!

Woohoo! The shovels are in the ground at last! Many of you will have noticed the thirteen new “noble” species trees planted along the waterfront in the past few weeks. These trees were the first wave of the actual “boots on the ground” work that should continue from now until March 31st, 2018. That’s the “end of fiscal year” date when the Department of Economic Development’s (DEC) funding for the Waterfront Project will vanish like Cinderella’s coach at midnight.

The members of the Wakefield Waterfront Project’s Steering Committee (PSC) read with some amusement in the Low Down’s October 25-31 edition about the “lull” we’d experienced over the summer in our efforts to get this refurbishment project happening for the community.  Lull?!? As lovely as a break might have been, rest assured the PSC volunteers have been going flat out since we came together in the fall of 2016, and even harder since the Project’s funds were liberated at the end of April 2017.  Many of you will recall last winter’s brouhaha over the municipality’s borrowing bills for the $379,000 in matching funds needed to access DEC’s $479,000 contribution (the balance of matching funds is coming from the CLD and hopefully, Tourism Outaouais). That was a near death experience for the Project.  While new and better borrowing bills were eventually approved unanimously by Council, DEC chose not release any funds to us until these new borrowing bills were officially signed by Quebec City – a long and protracted process complicated by a strike. We forged on with planning but were unable to sign any contracts for the studies and engineering work that were the necessary first steps until we knew the money was available.

Still, why has it taken so long to get shovels in the ground?

As recipients of Federal and municipal funding, the Project Steering Committee and Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber, are bound by some very specific rules regarding contracting that are designed to ensure fairness and transparency in the dispersal of public monies. Every component of the Project requires the development of a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP); each of these 25-30 page documents takes about 3 weeks to prepare, review, release and publicize; then there is another 3-4 week period to allow bidders to respond and the PSC to prepare an impartial evaluation grid, followed by another 2-3 weeks for adjudication of the bids and finally, the preparation and signing of the contract itself. We have managed 9 of these major RFP processes to date and still have a few more ahead and it all takes a great deal of time and effort. We’ve been told a Public Works department managing a project of this scale would normally schedule two years with a full time staff; because of the time limitations on the Canada 150 funding, we are a group of volunteers with full time jobs of our own trying hard to get it out the door in less than one.

And then there were the required environmental authorizations. Working beside a river triggers a bevy of provincial laws and regulations that require every aspect of the project be studied by engineers, biologists and soil experts to allow the Quebec Ministry of Environment to determine if the Project will have any impacts on the river or cause any contamination. This very laudable but complex two-step process has now been accomplished with the help of a qualified environmental engineering firm. Our first “L1” report numbered 800 pages; the final application that went in to the Ministry on October 17th was over 1000 pages. Whew! We were given a partial green light in early November to move forward on some aspects of the landscaping but champagne corks popped when we received our full authorization in record time on November 15th.  The project will be moving ahead fast from here on in, weather permitting, so look for new developments on a daily basis.

Other work now underway: community dock, boardwalk, train bridge decking and more!

There is still more action going on behind the scenes. We’ve held a contest for benches, picnic tables and bicycle rack designs and all these will be constructed by local artisans over the fall and winter.  The dock is on order and will be ready for the spring – you may even get a sneak preview if there is time to install the anchors this year before the river freezes. We’re in negotiations with the successful bidder on the Boardwalk contract – rest assured this can be constructed during the winter months – not ideal, but entirely possible. The critical go-ahead factor there will be a geotechnical study that will allow the engineers to determine how deep they will have to dig to install the pilings – a big variable in terms of costs. If we get good news there, we can move forward immediately with the final engineering plans and construction. You will also be seeing the paving of the parking lots and new decking on the train bridge– still sorting out some structural issues there – as well as renovations to the washrooms, the lookout in Geggie Park and other wooden features. It’s all finally happening!

The Chamber and particularly the Project Steering Committee are very grateful for the continued support and collaboration of DEC, the CLD, the Municipality, DM Design and the community in moving this project forward. We’ve greatly appreciated your faith and patience while we’ve ploughed our way through all the necessary planning, engineering, RFPs, authorizations and paperwork. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this current construction phase might impose – there will be a few days when traffic may be slowed along Riverside while they bring in materials or work with heavy equipment. It will be a nuisance, no question, but thankfully very temporary. We’re hoping the reward will be great!

Now if the snow will just hold off for a few more weeks…

Liane Benoit

Chair, Project Steering Committee

Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization Project (Canada 150)

Request for Proposals – Boardwalk and various project components

The Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber’s Wakefield Waterfront Project (Canada 150) Steering Committee is now soliciting proposals from qualified companies and contractors for the design and build of various components of the project.

The following RFP submission date is now EXTENDED to November 1st, 2017 – 5:00 pm (EST).

NOTE: English versions are available only upon request.

The following RFPs are due November 1, 2017 – 5:00 pm EST.

  • Design-build for the refurbishment and expansion of the public washrooms at Parc Roquebrune
  • Re-decking of the green steel train bridge on Riverside Drive
  • Building an enclosure (cedar) for the chemical toilets – Geggie and Peace Park
  • Modification of the fence in Peace Park

RFP Documents

For a copy of the RFP packages for the above project components, please write us at wakefieldwaterfrontproject@gmail.com.

Design a bench, picnic table or bike rack for our new waterfront!

The Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization Project wants your ideas and designs for unique benches, picnic tables or bicycle racks for our three waterfront parks. This competition is open to any artist, artisan or creative DIYer able to develop and build their concept by December 15, 2017. Designs must be robust, functional and universally accessible and should reflect the distinct character, history and  materials found in the region.


  • five benches (up to $800 each)
  • five picnic tables (up to $2000 each)
  • three bicycle racks (up to $500 each)

The specs. are available on the Chamber’s website at www.cwlpc.ca by clicking on the following link: Benches, picnic tables and bicycle racks submission requirements.

Please send your submission in the form of drawings, photos and specifications to the wakefieldwaterfrontproject@gmail.com by Wednesday, October 4, 2017. Winning submissions will be announced on October 11, 2017.  Stay tuned for project updates at cwlpc.ca – the Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber website – or contact David McKenzie at 819-459-3164 for more information.

Spread the word!


The Steering Committee of the Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization project (Canada 150) of the Wakefield-La Peche Chamber has added an Addenda to the call for tenders issued in August (original call for tender documents are located at the following link:  https://cwlpc.ca/call-for-tenders-for-the-wakefield-waterfront-revitalization-project-canada-150-of-the-chambre-wakefield-la-peche-chamber/).

Consequently, the deadline for submissions has been extended to Wednesday, September 13, 2017.  Please see the Addenda document below for information and directives (available in French only – English version available upon request).

  1. Addenda No.1 – Appels d’offres pour le Projet de Revitalisation du Parc riverain de Wakefield (Canada 150) de la Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche



STATUS UPDATE: Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization Project (Canada 150) of the Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber

The Chamber’s Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization Project (Canada 150) Steering Committee is pleased to be issuing a multi-faceted call for tenders for several components of the renovations to the parks and pathways. If you have a business that’s involved in construction, paving, landscaping, stonework or any of the related trades, please visit the Chamber’s website (www.cwlpc.ca) and put in a bid! This opportunity will be more than just another job – it’s a chance to contribute to the character, beauty and vitality of La Pêche!

The Steering Committee looks forward to finally getting a few “shovels in the ground” this fall.  The beginning of construction will represent a major milestone in the progress of the project, but rest assured there has been a great deal of activity going on behind the scenes over the past 10 months. A project of this magnitude requires endless planning and paperwork – in fact 75% of the work involved in pulling off an infrastructure project like this is done on paper: surveys, ecological studies, geotechnical studies, engineering studies, building permits, design revisions, the development of endless RFPs and tenders, contract-letting, hiring, press releases, reports to funders and partners, preparing and revising budget, managing invoices and funds,  and the very lengthy process of acquiring the environmental authorizations necessary to undertake a project located in the “littoral zone” of a river. The Steering Committee has already met over 25 times, drank gallons of tea and lemonade and generated enough emails, phone calls and documents to last us a lifetime.

The Project is in good shape at present but we have faced some significant setbacks and challenges. The exercise in democracy around the municipality’s borrowing bills last winter held up the funding for a full three months – this on a project already rife with tight deadlines – effectively delaying the ability of the Committee to issue any contracts over the winter. This had a domino effect that we’ve been working hard to overcome and has thankfully been somewhat mitigated by Economic Development Canada’s agreement to delay the deadline for Project completion from Decembers 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Still, this means by the time we were able to issue RFPs and contracts for all the studies and other engineering work necessary to finalize the design and support the application for environmental authorization (a 75-day process in itself once the application is submitted), it will result in much of the construction and landscaping work being done in the fall and possibly into winter.  Thankfully, according to the experts, it is all still do-able!

To date, completing the Boardwalk – unquestionably the “pièce de resistance” of the project – remains the biggest challenge. By the time the Project funding was released in late spring and we could issue an RFP for the engineering work, drawings and stamps required for the environmental authorization for that structure and its construction, every engineering company in the region capable of taking this on was fully booked. We are now working a new angle that is showing promise and hope to have some good news for you on this shortly. One way or another, we will get this built!

So it’s full steam ahead! Stand by for some action on the waterfront by late September and please have a look at the Chamber website now to see if there is a contract in this package that might be right for you.

We’ll be back to you with more news shortly!

The Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber Project Steering Committee

Liane Benoit – Chair

Meredith Brown – Engineer

Shelley Crabtree – Communications Officer

Linda Dougherty – Finance Officer

Claude Giroux – Councillor for Wakefield

Ivan Hale – Board member, Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber

Liam Hale – Engineer

Heidi Honegger – Secretary

David McKenzie – Community Outreach



Call for Tenders for the Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization Project (Canada 150) of the Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber

The Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber through the Project Steering Committee of the Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization Project (Canada 150) is pleased to invite eligible businesses and contractors to submit one or more competitive bids to renovate components of the existing infrastructure along the Wakefield waterfront and parks (Geggie, Roquebrune and Peace). Preference will be given to qualified applicants in La Pêche and other areas of the MRC des Collines.

A detailed description of the various contracts available and the required tender forms are available for download below. The deadline for submission is September 6, 2017.

The contracts cover the following areas:

  1. General parks improvements (Roquebrune, Geggie and Peace)
  2. Replacement of the current “Sisstie” dock with a new (60.96-metre) dock for non-motorized boats
  3. Creation of a multi-use path along rail bed
  4. Expanding, improving and resurfacing two parking areas
  5. Renovation of the washroom building located at Roquebrune Park

The list of documents for the call for tenders is as follows (NOTE that as per the practice applied by the Municipality of La Pêche for a call for tenders, all documents are in french only and the English version can be supplied by request only by emailing the Project Steering Committee at: wakefieldwaterfrontproject@gmail.com).

  1. Notice to contractors – Avis aux soumissionnaires
  2. Application form for submissions – Formule de soumission 001
  3. Requirements and the description of the application for submissions – Directives générales et description des articles de la formule de soumission 001
  4. Detailed plans for Roquebrune Park – Détails – Parc Roquebrune – Plan #1
  5. Detailed plans for Geggie Park – Détails – Parc Geggie – Plan #2
  6. Detailed plans for Peace Park – Détails – Parc de la Paix – Plan #4
  7. Overview of detailed plans – Détails – Vue d’ensemble – Plan #5
  8. Technical details – Détails – Plan #6
  9. Technical details – Détails – Plan #7

PLEASE NOTE : A meeting will be held with the Wakefield Waterfront Revitalization project manager on August 24, 2017 at Roquebrune (Turntable) Park from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm to visit the sites and answer questions from contractors making submissions.

For additional information, please contact the Project Steering Committee by email at:  wakefieldwaterfrontproject@gmail.com.

Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche – Annual General Meeting June 19, 2017

The Wakefield Chamber is holding its Annual General Meeting at the Community Centre on 19 June. This is your chance to join the board, sign up for a membership, renew an existing membership, propose new ideas for village cooperation and join in the work of the Chamber. Just like Wakefield, your Chamber is not your every day Chamber. As well as the usual Commerce orientation, common to all Chambers, your Chamber is also focussing on Arts and Tourism and Community to reflect the many faces of this wonderful village. Come and hear what has happened so far and what we want to do with your help and participation. This is a truly village effort.

We are looking for new members of the Chamber Board. Are you interested in helping to steer the Chamber? Do you have interests in Commerce, Arts, Tourism and/or Community? Do you have skills in websites, communications and media, fundraising, financial management, events management? Put your name in for election at the AGM. Submissions of interest should be received by the Chamber by 12 June, one week ahead of the meeting. Send your expression of interest to the President, Glen Foster, gfoster@magma.ca

A copy of the June 19th meeting agenda and the minutes of last year’s meeting are now available below:

Agenda – 2017

AGM_Draft_minutes 2016

Wakefield Parking Task Force Report

The Commerce Council of the Chamber has formed a task force to study the problem of finding adequate parking in Wakefield village.  Visitors and residents alike experience difficulty finding places to park near their destination when they visit the village core.  This is not only inconvenient and frustrating, but has an adverse effect on business, tourism and development in Wakefield.  The Task Force has now completed its draft report setting out an exhaustive list of possible solutions, and now seeks comment from Chamber members and the public before finalizing recommendations.

Please take the time to read the Wakefield Parking Task Force Draft Report and provide your answers to the following questions:

  • Do you agree with the general vision and policy underlying the Task Force’s approach? 
  • How would you assess the possible solutions?  Which ones are most important to do?  Which would you recommend not be done? 
  • Do you have other possible solutions to suggest?

Please send your comments by May 19 to info@cwlpc.ca so that the report can be finalized and shared with the Municipality and others.  Your input matters to make solutions happen!

How to grow your business through online selling

  • Feel like your business is missing out on e-commerce & online selling?
  • Interested in learning more?
  •  Whether you are just beginning or have some experience, this workshop is for you! 

The Wakefield – La Pêche Chamber and the Centre local de développement (CLD) des Collines are partnering to offer a three-hour primer workshop on the basics of e-commerce and selling online.  Online selling and e-commerce are the way forward for many businesses and the CLD has expertise in the area that can help you expand sales and marketing of your business.

WhenApril 24th, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Where:  Centre Wakefield La Pêche, Studio

Cost:  This seminar is being offered to our members at the special rate of $45 plus taxes = $51.64.  Non-members $65 plus taxes = $74.59.

Includes coffee, tea and refreshments.

This workshop will be presented in English with bilingual discussion.

Registration: You can register and pay online at the Centre Wakefield-La Pêche at https://centrewakefieldlapeche.ca/event-2509613, or send or drop off your cheque payable to Chambre Wakefield – La Pêche, along with your name and contact information, at the Centre Wakefield La Pêche at 38 ch de la Vallée de Wakefield J0X 3G0.  Please register by April 14. 

For more information, please contact us at info@chambrewakefieldlapeche.com.

Seminar Lead:  Nelson Picard, MBA, Senior Business Advisor, CLD des Collines will lead the seminar.  Nelson specializes in business and marketing, and has been involved in various online marketing initiatives since 1998.

What you will learn: The following will be covered in this 3-hour workshop:

  1. Online vs. Offline Selling
  2. Selling Online and e-Commerce
  3. Sales Process
  4. Client Identification
  5. The Best Offer
  6. Promotion
  7. Tech Side Of Online Business
  8. Financial Planning

CLD follow up services: By attending this workshop you will have automatic access to the CLD for follow-up expertise and mentoring as you move forward with your e-commerce plans. 

 Don’t miss out!

 This workshop is one in a series offered by Chambre Wakefield-Lapêche Chambre

Global Payments is a sponsor of this workshop