Demolition begins on Little Current OPP boathouse ending years of negotiations

The bare bones of the OPP boathouse begin to show through as the cladding and roof are stripped off.

LITTLE CURRENT—Demolition has begun on the Little Current Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) boathouse and is scheduled to be completed in early 2015.

“It feels like it’s been going on forever (negotiating with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSC)) so I’m happy it’s finally coming down,” said Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin. “The Northeast Town has expressed an interest in the property with Infrastructure Ontario (IO), but it will be a while yet before we will see if we can buy it.”

IO previously explained to The Expositor that since the boathouse property was no longer required by the OPP, as they switched to leasing a nearby boat slip this past summer, the property became the responsibility of IO.

“On behalf of the government, IO is proceeding with demolition of the boathouse,” said IO Communications Manager Jeff Giffen. “We’ve completed our due diligence, which included an environmental assessment and a demolition contractor is being engaged through an open and competitive process. The anticipated work will be completed in early 2015.”

“Once the demolition is complete, IO will be able to initiate its disposition process for the property,” continued Mr. Giffen. “The Township (the Northeast Town) has expressed an interest in acquiring the property and we’ve had discussions with them regarding our sales process. However, we’re not currently in a position to negotiate. IO’s mandate is to dispose of publicly owned assets at market value to ensure fairness and the best value for the people of Ontario.”

The demolition of the boathouse has come after several years of discussions between the Northeast Town and the MCSCS and IO regarding the disrepair of the downtown boathouse.

The Northeast Town council had lobbied hard for the demolition or replacement of the deteriorating property when the waterfront underwent a multi-million dollar makeover.

Mayor MacNevin said that council has had discussions regarding the boathouse property, wishing to bridge the gap in the boardwalk, creating a complete path along the waterfront.

“The old OPP boathouse was such an eyesore,” added Mayor MacNevin. “It will be nice to be rid of it. We don’t know IO’s plans, if they will be filling in the space under the boathouse. That will affect the price of joining the two sides of the boardwalk.”

The Expositor contacted IO to inquire after more details about their plans, however a representative had not responded as of press time Monday.