Kenora Mayor Dan Reynard says the proposed development of the Central Park area could be the ‘perfect’ location for more multi-residential housing units in the community.
“With the two new parks coming at Jaffray Melick, the fact that we’re going to redevelop Central, and the demand for housing in the downtown core, everything just fell into place,” explains the Mayor.
Reynard says only half of Central Park would be developed, if passed and approved by city councillors, and the Central Community Club location and one of the two ball diamonds would remain.
“The other section has been identified as a perfect location for multi-residential housing. It’s perfect in terms of infrastructure. There’s paved roads, sidewalks, sewer, water, hydro, natural gas. Everything’s there and it’s close to the downtown core. We’ll see how that plays out over the next month.”
The City of Kenora will be holding two zoning meetings on Central’s development, the first taking place on Tuesday night with the city’s Property and Planning Committee. Councillors will also be discussing the issue on March 9.
Affordable housing has been identified as a key issue in a number of reports from both the city and the Kenora District Services Board. However, in their efforts to create new housing units within city limits, city staff and developers note there are only so many lots available which are suitable, given the difficult terrain in the area.
In 2018, the Central Community Rink building was closed and ultimately torn down, because the building was old and beyond repair. Volunteers with the Light Up Central campaign have been working to raise $170,000 to rebuild the building since.