All Almonte tennis players will be happy to hear that the courts in Gemmill Park have reopened after major renovations, giving the courts a new lease on life. The Almonte Tennis Club, founded in 1899, is 117 years old. These courts, built in 1970, have been renovated several times. The only public courts in the entire township of Mississippi Mills, they are situated on the north side of the athletics track adjacent to a ravine. For many years, poor water drainage has undermined the courts, causing frequent surface cracking and entailing frequent repairs.
To finally address this ongoing issue, a gabion wall has been built along the north side of the courts, and a French drain installed around the perimeter. The court surface has been repaired, and badly leaning perimeter fences have been replaced. The construction costs amounted to $70,000, of which 50 percent was paid by a Trillium grant. The Almonte Tennis Club contributed $6,000, and the Municipality paid for the remainder. We fully anticipate fewer on-going repair costs and more time on the courts, now that the underlying problem has been dealt with.
At the courts on November 4 there was an official presentation to commemorate the completion of the project. MPP Jack MacClaren presented a plaque to the Municipality of Mississippi Mills. Councillor Val Wilkinson, representing the Mayor, and also a long-time former member of the Almonte Tennis Club, received the plaque and expressed her sincere thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Also present were recreation manager Calvin Murphy, CFO Diane Smithson, Almonte Tennis Club president Doug Younger-Lewis, design and construction consultant Adam Goudreau, and several enthusiastic and grateful tennis club members.