Ontario determining fate of old Island OPP detachments

The former detachment in Manitowaning is now vacant and the provincial government is evaluating what to do with the building, while it prepares the Little Current detachment for disposession.

MANITOULIN – Infrastructure Ontario (IO), which manages buildings owned by the provincial government including current and former Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachments, has begun the process of disposing of the former Little Current detachment from its inventory, and is evaluating what to do with the former Manitowaning detachment building.

“IO continually reviews the portfolio it manages, which includes selling properties that are surplus to government needs to generate revenue for taxpayers. As there is no longer an identified requirement for program use, IO has begun to prepare the former (Little Current) detachment property for disposition,” IO spokesperson Alanna Myles stated in a recent email to The Expositor.

The former detachment is located in an old house at 12 Campbell Street East. According to IO’s mandate, it “must maintain any facility to protect the integrity of the asset.” This has meant lights on in the parking lot and ongoing snow removal at the old detachment.

IO estimated operations and maintenance costs for 2020-2021 at roughly $41,000, a figure it said is less than when OPP was in the building.

Ontario is engaged in the OPP modernization project, a $182 million project to replace old police facilities with nine new detachments. The Manitoulin detachment was part of this campaign and received its new detachment last year in Little Current, which resulted in the closure of the old detachments in Little Current, Manitowaning and Mindemoya that were then obsolete.

“IO is in the very early stages of gathering information and considering next steps toward exploring future uses of the former (Manitowaning) detachment site,” Ms. Myles stated. “IO has a well-defined process for disposition of surplus property, which includes due diligence and activities and circulation to consider continued public use of the property.”

IO was not able to provide any estimated timelines at this point of when Ontario might dispossess the Little Current detachment or determine any potential future uses for the Manitowaning detachment.