MOUNTAIN LIFE - Blue Mountains | Winter 2021

26 Back in 2016 when we first covered the development of a cable park in Thornbury, it seemed we’d have a park in the near future. But as we roll into 2021 that park doesn’t feel any closer to happening. What’s a cable park, you ask? It’s basically wakeboarding without the boat. The rider’s rope and handle are pulled by an electrically driven cable suspended above the water. Think of it as a really fast T-Bar. It opens up wakeboarding to people who can’t afford a boat (let alone the fuel) and has huge crossover potential: If you’re into boardsports of any kind, you’ll love riding a cable park. And for those that are more into skiing, well, you can even waterski at a cable park. Much to the chagrin of project leader Brennan Grange, getting approval from the Town of the Blue Mountains is proving difficult. There have been meetings and open houses trying to get the message out there. But there’s a lot of contention about this project, many neighbours and locals equating a wake park with the infamous Wakestock: a loud concert/ party with more bikinis, bong hits and beer bottles than wakeboarding. But that isn’t what a cable park is. “The main clientele would be young families that are into outdoor recreation,” says Grange. “It will be focused on wakeboarding.” Then there are the environmentalists claiming the cable park’s ponds will completely drain Indian Brook, leading to a total fish cull. But that isn’t the problem either; the amount of water the park will use is negligible. And the MNR has already signed off on the water usage for the park. The real holdup, the one that environmentalists and probably neighbours fearing noise complaints should look into, is the fact that the Town wants to use this as “employment land.” “The subject lands are comprised of individual lots, blocks and municipally owned right-of-ways that were initially created as an industrial plan of subdivision in 1981, Plan 1035,” says Nathan Westendorp, Director of Planning and Development Services for the Town. Employment lands are designated for industry, warehousing, office space. In other words: ugly, concrete industrial buildings and parking lots. So Grange continues to jump through hoops, commissioning studies and reports, getting permits and patiently waiting for the Town to grant permission to move forward. It’s a slow process. But Grange remains optimistic. “I’m pretty sure anyone that is against the cable park is not for an industrial commercial park,” he says. “Big-box buildings, high fences, 'no trespassing' signs. We’re trying to make use of a beautiful property, turn it into a recreational facility that anyone can come and use. I think this is the best use for the property.” “I’m just looking forward to the day we can get this thing open and get some people on the water.” Learn more at and voice your opinion by contacting the Town Clerk’s Office here: [email protected] –Colin Field UPFRONT If you’re into boardsports of any kind, you’ll love riding a cable park. PROPOSED CABLE PARK IN HOLDING PATTERN An artist’s rendering of the Bayou Cable Park. SUPPLIED BY BRENNAN GRANGE