LaSalle Causeway Closure Delivers Devastating Blow to Kingston Tourism

The LaSalle Causeway in Kingston, Ontario, has been closed since March 31, 2024, for 8-10 weeks of repairs, severely impacting local tourism businesses. The closure is projected to result in significant revenue losses, affecting thousands of people employed in related industries.

Nitish Verma
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LaSalle Causeway Closure Delivers Devastating Blow to Kingston Tourism

LaSalle Causeway Closure Delivers Devastating Blow to Kingston Tourism

The closure, repair, progress of the LaSalle Causeway in Kingston, Ontario, since March 31, 2024, has dealt a catastrophic blow to the city's tourism sector, which was still recovering from the economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure, which may take 8-10 weeks to repair, has already significantly impacted local businesses, cruise operators, and the travel trade tourism industry.

Why this matters: The closure of the LaSalle Causeway has far-reaching consequences for the local economy, affecting not only tourism but also the livelihoods of thousands of people employed in related industries. The impact of this closure will be felt long after the repairs are completed, potentially altering the trajectory of Kingston's economic development.

Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises and St. Lawrence Cruise Lines are among the hardest hit, with a combined projected loss of $4 million in direct revenue and an estimated $15 million public, notice, closure impact on Kingston's economy. St. Lawrence Cruise Lines has 30 staff affected, while Kingston Destination Group has 56 employees impacted by the closure.

The travel trade tourism industry is also facing significant challenges due to theclosure, significant, impact, still, tourism, indu. Tour buses may drive past Kingston entirely if they cannot access both Fort Henry and downtown, resulting in a potential loss of over $3 million in economic impact. The Waaban Crossing has infrastructure challenges for tour buses, which may lead to delays and the omission of Kingston from their itineraries.

Other businesses in Kingston are also feeling the effects of thepublic, notice, closure. Fort Henry National Historic Site saw a 50% decline in attendance at its total solar eclipse event on April 8, with 10,000 reservations. MetalCraft Marine has lost international contracts for refitting due to the inability to bring boats into the Inner Harbour. I-Cycle Electric Bikes, Kingston Trolley Tours, local accommodations, restaurants, museums, and sporting events are among the other affected businesses.

Megan Knott, CEO of Tourism Kingston, emphasized the severity of the situation, stating, "There is never a good time to close a major artery like the LaSalle Causeway... That this closure occurred at the start of peak tourism season and has literally trapped two key visitor attractions is catastrophic." Jason Clark of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines added, "This will have a huge impact felt across the regional economy for years."

The LaSalle Causeway closure has delivered a devastating blow to Kingston's tourism sector, with far-reaching economic consequences for local businesses and attractions. As repair work continues, the city faces the daunting task of mitigating the impact and supporting affected businesses during this challenging period.