Northeast Town budgets to complete Little Current dock at old boathouse site

The former Little Current OPP boathouse prior to being torn down. The property where the boathouse sat has been sold to the Northeast Town from Infrastructure Ontario. Expositor file photo

LITTLE CURRENT—The Northeast Town will be finishing the Little Current downtown docks, connecting the gap where the former OPP boathouse once sat.

“I would like to see the dock connected at the former OPP boathouse property,” said Councillor Bill Koehler. “We lobbied for years to get this property and have the boathouse taken down and I think we should do something with it. Our downtown docks are 90 percent complete and this project would allow our docks to be finished.”

Mr. Koehler noted that currently, when residents walk the dock the dock ends abruptly at the former OPP boathouse property by the downtown pavilion and that individuals have to walk around the property to continue walking along the docks.

“I think we should finish this property, especially with the number of cruise ships expected to increase this summer,” Mr. Koehler added, noting that council had discussed installing a bridge in the past, but that after a conversation with town staff he learned it would be less costly to just continue the existing dock.

“We could add H beams and decking and a bench at the back,” said town CAO Dave Williamson. “It would be simple and clean. The project would also provide additional dockage.”

Mr. Williamson explained that if council was to approve the project that the $40,000 cost would come from the waterfront reserve account (revenue from the waterfront), not at a cost to taxpayers.

Last January, the Northeast Town purchased Lots 27 and 28 on the north side of Campbell Street, the former OPP boathouse property, from Infrastructure Ontario (IO) for $55,000.

In 2014, the boathouse was demolished. This was the result of several years of discussions between the Northeast Town and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) and IO regarding the disrepair of the downtown boathouse. The Northeast Town council had lobbied long and hard for the demolition of the deteriorating building when the waterfront underwent a multi-million dollar makeover several years ago.