Locals in Innisfil, Ontario, are being told to bid farewell to an equine landmark, a giant wooden rocking horse that has been a fixture in the area since 2008. Town council got spooked after it discovered the cost to rebuild and refurbish the pine horse would range between $50,000-$100,000. The town bought the horse in 2016 after the original owners, a company that produced pine furniture, sold its business. Since that time the rocking horse has stood guard near the intersection of Yonge Street and Innisfil Beach Road at Spring Tree Farms, a garden centre and tree farm, and the town had first right of refusal if the new location owners sought to get rid of it.
According to Barrie Today, that day came and the fate of the rocking horse was put on the docket at town hall due to the widening of Innisfil Beach Road, which cuts across Spring Tree.
The high cost of moving the rocking horse comes down to a few considerations. To begin with it’s made from pine, which absorbs water, and the result is an extremely heavy sculpture which the news outlet puts as double its original weight of 5,500 lbs. Secondly, it was found to have “significant rot” in the wood.
“The structure would not be able to be moved without being taken apart due to the condition of the wood,” a staff report stated in part of the horse which stands 6 metres high (20′), 1.8 metres wide (9’t) and 7.1 metres in length (23.3′). “The structure cannot be easily repaired and would essentially have to be rebuilt in order to bring it back to a condition closer to when it was constructed.”
While local councilors admit that locals might not agree with their assessment, it’s a done deal. “I would tell residents to enjoy it while you can,” Coun. Kevin Eisses told Barrie Today, “It’s unfortunate that there’s not much else we can do.”