Northern Ontario town unveils plans to transform vacant paper mill site into riverfront district


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The municipality of West Nipissing in northern Ontario has unveiled plans to transform an 11-hectare site in the town of Sturgeon Falls, where a paper mill once stood. The riverfront district would include a public park, trail network, shops, and new housing, with the aim of creating a "gateway development" for the town. A private "master developer" could oversee the project, but government funding would be required to clean up the contaminated site. The municipality purchased the land from Weyerhaeuser in 2020 for $156,000. Sturgeon Falls has grown in recent years, becoming a bedroom community for Sudbury and North Bay, but the site of the former paper mill has remained vacant. The proposed development has been welcomed by council members and staff. However, the project is likely to take years and cost millions of dollars before it becomes a reality. Consultant Paul Hicks said government funding would be needed for the "large clean-up operation" required at the site. He recommended that the municipality partner with a private developer to oversee the project. Consultant Michelle Blom said the redevelopment was "a chance for a step forward and an example for change," adding that the site was "a symbol of history for the community, but also a chance for a new beginning." The plans aim to create an attractive destination that would encourage motorists to stop in Sturgeon Falls, rather than simply passing through on Highway 17.

Read the full article on: CBC