It was dark, damp, and very scary the first time I walked through the shuttered train tunnel that ran under my hometown. I was a teenager. That’s what you did when you were a teenager in Brockville.
It was a right of passage.
You had to survive walking through Canada’s first railway tunnel - a closed (I mean, DO NOT ENTER) dilapidated tunnel that runs north for four blocks underground from the riverfront.
It was a terrifying experience that I never forgot. We’d heard stories about what - and who - might be in there. But what we knew for sure, no one in their right mind should be walking through there. No one.
We made our way through the tunnel, screaming at every drip of water that fell on our heads, every breath of wind, and every weird shadow.
The flashlights provided barely enough light to guide us - the ground was soft and mucky. And it was ominous. I’ve never been so happy to see the light at the end of a tunnel.
Wait...let me rephrase that. Until last week, that was the happiest I had ever been to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Because last week, our province announced plans to open up completely after over a year of various levels of shut-down due to Covid19.
Seeing THAT light at the end of a long, oppressive tunnel of Covid19 restrictions was so full of hope and excitement - personally and professionally.
We have been collectively walking through a long, dark tunnel with no end in sight for a long time. And that tunnel walk wasn’t pleasant. But we’re coming out the other end. I see it.
For those greatly affected by the last 14 months of the pandemic, I hope seeing the actual end of restrictions in sight will bring you hope, comfort and light.
So, that wasn’t the only time I ventured into the Brockville tunnel. The second time (yes, I went back in) I wasn’t as eager to see the end. It was just a couple years ago and this time, it was perfectly legal to do so. In fact, it was encouraged!
The tunnel has been completely refurbished. The tracks are out, the floor is now a walkway, and it is a cool tourist attraction - a very cool experience - you’ll see.
It’s too bad they didn’t have that fantastic sound and light show running when we went through the first time! If you are in Brockville, Ontario, be sure to take a walk through the tunnel (once the Covid19 restrictions are lifted there, of course).
The Small Business Guide
Kim Houlahan is a marketing consultant who loves helping small business owners improve their marketing.
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