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Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic Site of Canada

Lakefield Property Development Questions & Answers

Residents Bring Lots of Ideas to Lakefield Waterfront Meeting Hosted by Parks Canada


Q: What is the purpose of this project? Why is it being done?

A: A new Hydro and Business Development program was created as part of the Government’s Action Plan for the Trent-Severn Waterway (TSW) and one of its focuses is to facilitate new tourism/business enterprises along the Trent-Severn Waterway. Parks Canada sees this property as an opportunity to turn facilities we no longer require for operational purposes, into something that will benefit both the government by generating revenue to reinvest in the TSW, and the local community by revitalizing the site for years to come.

Q: Is there any chance the land will be sold?

A: No, the land will remain the property of the Crown and will be leased. We’re here to protect and present the waterway and value the public use of Parks Canada lands.

Q: What kind of lease tenure is Parks Canada after?

A: Ideally Parks Canada is looking for long-term lease options with interested business partners.

Q: Will the concerns and suggestions of local residents be taken into account?

A: Yes, the concerns of residents will be considered prior to approvals. At this stage, no decisions have been taken on scope and scale of this development, except that it must include enhanced public and visitor access, and financial return to the Crown.

Q: Is public consultation a part of the process?

A: Yes public input is an important part of this development process in order to define the widest possible options in the best interests of the community. A facilitated public workshop in February 2012 was the first step.

Q: Has the Township been consulted?

A: Thus far, Parks Canada has met with the township CAO and Manager of Building and Planning to introduce the opportunity. We presented the idea to the township council on February 8, 2011 and met with municipal planners in January 2012.

Q: What is the process going forward?

A: In early February 2012 we met with a firm (Basterfield) to talk about the development of a FIT plan. This FIT plan will look at appropriate facility sizing for the property. Given space constraints, what can be located there allowing for bylaw considerations such as parking and height limitations?

The FIT plan gives us some parameters. Out of the public workshop we’ll come up with suggested uses which Basterfield will then translate into sketches.

Q: When will the public find out about next steps?

A: A second public meeting will be held in late spring to present preferred site scenarios.

Q: Will this project be developed to capitalize on its waterfront location?

A: This project is being developed so it capitalizes on the waterfront location and provides a higher level of public space than was previously available.

Q: Will the site plan include recreational space?

A: Yes the site plan will accommodate the existing trail and public access to the waterfront will be maintained.

Q: Why not all green space?

A: We see the possibility of having a commercial establishment on a portion of our land as a means to producing a long term revenue stream in support of operational costs associated with the Waterway. We would look to commercial opportunities that offer benefits to community residents and visitors, businesses and users of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

This property has considerable potential and might, with the installation of shore power and water, for instance, attract more and longer stays in the area. Results could be similar to what happened in Fenelon Falls over the summer of 2011 where a significant 92% of businesses surveyed indicated they had seen a positive impact directly within their own business.

Q: Not for profit groups, like the Lions Club wanted to rent the vacant maintenance compound. Why was that opportunity overlooked?

A: Health and safety issues associated with the existing structure would pose significant cost to Parks Canada.

Q: Will the existing buildings be removed? If so when?

A: Likely so. It’s too early to be able to answer this question with certainty.

Q: Will the environment be protected throughout the demolition and construction process?

A: Yes all appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the smallest impact possible on the environment. We’ve already had two environmental assessments on the site and we’re absolutely committed to the environmentally responsible reuse of this property and are bound by our legislation.

Q: Will the design of the building or buildings accommodate the heritage and culture of the village?

A: Absolutely. The unique architectural heritage of Lakefield will be taken into consideration and be used as a basis for the development's design.

Q: When is the property slated to be developed and put out for bids?

A: After we have taken this workshop into account and have presented illustrations depicting possible uses to council and the public, we will put out a call for Expressions of Interest. This will take us into stage two of the property’s redevelopment at which time we’ll seek formal Requests for Proposals, based on clearly defined parameters.

Q: When will construction begin?

A: Construction is dependent upon Parks Canada's consultative process/timelines, results of the Expressions of Interest and securing relevant approvals and permits. There is no way of knowing at this time.

Q: Will public access along the waterfront be affected during construction?

A: Until we know the scope of the project we cannot predict whether it will be a safe place for the public and public safety is our first concern.

Q: When will this project be completed and the site reopened to the public?

A: The site will continue to be open to the public, barring the immediate construction zone.

Q: How can I find out more information?

A: For more information contact William Fox at 705-750-4900.

Q: How much revenue is Parks Canada looking to raise?

A: We don’t know. Lease rates are based on number of square meters, percentage of gross income and there are so many variables.

Q: On an annual basis, how do other waterway communities generate their funds? We have a six week window.

A: Seasonality, from a tourism standpoint, is a big issue. We can’t really speak to the range of options other communities use. But you’re right, that’s a big challenge. Nonetheless we see opportunity for a new operation to be a year-round attraction.

Q: When the waterfront at Fenelon Falls was redeveloped was Parks Canada looking at bringing in fast food outlets?

A: No. We weren’t looking to compete. Existing businesses, like restaurants, and the commercial core of the village are what benefited from this project.

Q: Is there access to revenue figures for Fenelon Falls regarding the 2011 redevelopment?

A: I would encourage you to contact the Fenelon Falls & District Chamber of Commerce. We worked hand-in hand.

Q: The village of Lakefield has a vision and is working on a Community Improvement Plan. Will whatever comes to this property support that vision and strategy?

A: Absolutely. Parks Canada is hoping to come up with a vision that will be pleasing to the community and its visitors and be financially viable.