The August long weekend is not known for ice problems in Kenora. It’s known for traffic problems. If you’re coming out from Winnipeg for the festivities, and I hope you are, perhaps I can help.
Every year, traffic flow backs up as traffic pours into Kenora’s tiny downtown area. Sometimes the jam stretches nearly as far as the Dairy Queen in Norman, and I’ve heard of delays of half an hour to forty-five minutes. This year it may be worse. The Keewatin Bridge is down to one lane (until October), and traffic flow is regulated by a set of lights on a very long cycle. I expect that to cause a traffic jam all by itself, with cars likely backed up as far as the McMunn & Yates lumber store.
Every year, I say “Somebody should do something. There must be a way to tell people in advance.” This year, I’m going to try, using the Ice Patrol mailing list. I hope you don’t mind.
I recommend that you do not take the first Kenora exit from the Trans-Canada highway. That’s what everyone else will be doing. Stay on the bypass to the traffic lights. Take the Veteran’s Drive exit ramp. (Watch out for a patch of gravel where the road washed out this summer- heavy traffic may make it rough.) A couple of kilometers later, you will approach a four-way stop. Take the merge ramp to the right again, and you will soon duck under the railway tracks to arrive at Kenora’s roundabout. From there, you will be able to admire the magnificent traffic jam extending bumper to bumper all the way to the hospital and beyond.
No need to share this tip with your boss or your in-laws, 😉 but you might want to mention it to your besties. Have a safe weekend.