Historic landmark to stay put in Sundridge

·3 min read

Sundridge residents don't have to worry about the town council removing the Northern Triptych Sculpture and replacing it with something else.

The town council will repair the sculpture after getting overwhelming support from community members who voiced their opinion about the fate of the sculpture in an online survey.

Of the 313 people who took the survey, 72 percent said the Triptych is a Sundridge landmark that should remain in place.

In addition to citing the Triptych as a landmark, people in support of keeping the sculpture said it represents Sundridge, it's a work of art, it was donated to the village and the municipality has a duty to look after things left in its care.

Other reasons people gave as to why the sculpture should stay put were that it's an historical piece, is unique and iconic, is often photographed and is a reminder of people's childhoods.

Beyond the 72 percent that wanted the statue to stay in place, another 16 percent wanted it gone while almost 12 percent were undecided.

The Triptych, which sits on top of what is locally known as the Children's Centennial Garden, was sculpted and put up at the Lake Bernard waterfront in 1989 to commemorate the village's 100th birthday.

But during those three-plus decades, the 20-foot tall structure has developed quite a few cracks and, at some point in time, lost a piece.

Council debated the fate of the Triptych at its June meeting and was given four options, one of which was to repair the sculpture and replace the missing piece for a total cost of about $1,000.

At the same June meeting, council also was given an option to carry out a major refurbishment of the statue at a cost of $6,000, which in addition to fixing the cracks and replacing the missing piece, the Triptych would be reinforced, sandblasted, black coated and sealed.

The third option was to remove the sculpture and leave the existing space empty, while the last option was to replace the Triptych with something else.

Because of the Triptych's long history with the village, council decided this was one of those rare times it wanted the public to weigh in on the decision-making process, resulting in the online survey.

The survey also gauged the public pulse on removing or replacing the Triptych, and while 25 percent said it should be replaced, another 45 percent wanted it gone.

Additionally, 30 percent of respondents had no opinion.

However, even though the number of respondents who wanted the Triptych removed was 45 percent, not all 313 people who took the online survey answered this question.

In fact 230 people skipped this question, while 83 answered it.

Although the sculpture will remain and be repaired, the survey asked people in the event it was removed, did they have something in mind that should replace it.

Only 15 people responded to this question and the majority suggested the replacement piece should have historical meaning with an Indigenous theme.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget

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