One of Brockville’s larger tourist attractions officially reopened on Saturday.
The Aquatarium at Tall Ships Landing welcomed visitors for the first time since the middle of March. But according to officials that run the Broad Street facility, it didn’t happen without plenty of help and plenty of protocols in place.
“It may be a new normal, it may never be exactly the way it was before but that’s ok,” said Michelle Osborne, executive director of the Aquatarium.
“Times change and we can change with them.”
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Osborne says the reopening is actually a re-emergence, with safety being the priority.
“Some people have said we’ve gone a little overboard but we’d rather be safe then sorry,” Osborne said.
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“It’s essential that we keep everyone safe.”
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Osborne says there are plenty of measures in place like hand sanitizers at high-touch surfaces, while small visiting groups are spaced out at least 16 minutes apart so cleaners can sanitize surfaces. Physical distancing is another must, while tickets are also purchased online.
Brockville Mayor Jason Baker was one of a handful of area politicians on hand for the official social distancing ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“It’s inspiring to see the resilience of this facility,” Baker said. “It’s reflective of our spirit here in the city of Brockville.”
Also in attendance was Michael Barrett, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
“This really is a special place and it’s very fitting that the Aquatarium was of the first to, as the mayor said, pivot, to adapt and to open,” Barrett said.
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Star attractions like Justin Beaver and Oliver the Otter, meanwhile, seemed oblivious to the activities happening on the reopening day.
The 33,000-square-foot facility tells the unique history, culture and ecosystems of Ontario’s 1000 Islands region.
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