The Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre is looking to expand and will need grants to do it.

In a report to the Gravenhurst Committee of the Whole earlier this week, it was revealed that the MSDC has applied for a $950,000 grant through Heritage Canada. The plan is to build a Steam Era Exhibit that would be part of a new boathouse at the Discovery Centre.

The MSDC is where the RMS Segwun, the Wenonah II and the Wanda III call home.

The estimated cost for the expansion is $2.3 million. The Centre has already secured another $1 million in funding. If the grant is successful the MSDC would begin the planning stages for the construction.

John Miller is the President of the Centre and says a meeting with the Committee of the Whole earlier this week was a major step to clearing the funding hurdle.

The MSDC requested and got a lease extension to 2030 from the town as part of the grant application requirements. The committee also approved the plans as presented.

Now it is a waiting game, as the MSDC awaits word from Heritage Canada.

“You get put in this position with government grants a lot,” explains Miller. “Either you get to the point where you start spending money of your own without knowing your chances of success or not or you don’t.”

The proposed Steam Era exhibit would serve a dual purpose of providing a weatherproof boathouse to house the Wanda III and an engaging tourist-friendly experience showing the important history of steamships in the area.