Mayor Donaldson - Statement Following Muskoka Regional Centre Redevelopment Report

Posted on Thursday October 05, 2017


Following today's Special Council Meeting: (Status Report on Muskoka Regional Centre Redevelopment), Mayor Paisley Donaldson shared the following statement with reporters.

I’d like to begin by sharing my appreciation to Council, Staff and members of the public who have supported the ongoing work of the Muskoka Regional Centre Redevelopment Project.

Our goal for this project has always been to partner with an investor who valued our perspectives and understood our objectives.  Those objectives – To grow a more diverse economy, provide much needed year-round employment opportunities, and retain and attract new business ventures to our community.

In addition to finding a partner who shared a cultural connection to Gravenhurst, we were very pleased that the joint venture of Maple Leaf Educational Systems and Knightstone Capital Management had full intentions to meet our communities’ goals, and were as equally enthusiastic to bring new life to the former Muskoka Regional Centre property.

We had, and continue to have complete confidence in their ability to be a responsible stakeholder; we know that they value and respect the natural beauty and surroundings of the property, and that they have a keen desire to become a part of the very fabric of Gravenhurst. (We hope that this may still come true.)

Today, while I am disheartened by the news of an impasse in negotiations with the Province, I remain optimistic that a positive conclusion is around the corner and that we will, as a community reach our objectives.

Through previous correspondence, I have expressed my concerns to Premier Kathleen Wynne and asked her to realize the huge potential and benefits of this redevelopment, not only for our community, but for the Province as a whole.  I intend to continue to push the Premier's Office further to find an alternative way to allow this important project to proceed. Staff and Council will also revisit our strategy and explore ways we can move forward.

Again, I thank everyone in the community for their ongoing support and patience as we work to bring growth and prosperity to Gravenhurst.

Mayor Paisley Donaldson

Gravenhurst, ON