New 3D highway signs will point travellers to centre of Canada
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Eye-catching new signs will soon welcome travellers to the centre of Canada.
The Rural Municipality of Taché, southeast of Winnipeg, is home to the longitudinal middle of the country — 96° 48’ 35” W — a point of pride, and a tourist pull, too.
Now, signs are set to go up both east and westbound on the Trans-Canada Highway pointing drivers in the direction of Centre of Canada Park.
The RM released preliminary images of the unique 3D-effect signs designed by local firm Sputnik Architecture earlier this month. It’s an exciting design in Taché Mayor Armand Poirier’s opinion.
“It’s very Canadian, and it’s contemporary,” he said.
“I think it complements the theme of the park, which is, of course, our flag, the Maple Leaf flag in the centre of Canada. It makes it a nationally attractive design.”
It won’t replace the signage welcoming visitors to the Centre of Canada Park, but will serve as both a new tourist attraction and a way to make sure drivers get there safely.
“What was happening, what we found out over time, is that people would come across the park at the very last minute, and then they would drive to the next mile down the highway, make a U-turn and come back. So it was a dangerous proposition on the Trans-Canada Highway,” Poirier said.
“It’ll give the travelling public now an opportunity of knowing that they’re approaching this significant milestone in Canada.”
Poirier has sat on the Centre of Canada Park Committee since its inception in 2014, and began calling on the provincial Transportation and Infrastructure Department to install signs directing people to the park since it first opened in 2017.
Hundreds of tourists visit the Centre of Canada Park yearly, he said.
“Every time I stop there, I meet immigrants or tourists from around the world, you name it. And I think this really speaks about the Canadian aspect of the Centre of Canada Park,” he said.
The committee is meeting Wednesday to finalize the last details of the signs, and some new amenities at park, including a new pergola, lighting and placement of memorial trees.
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Updated on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 5:51 PM CST: Removes distance reference, adds map.