Muskoka Regional Centre - Town of Gravenhurst
Photo Gallery: Muskoka Regional Centre will appear here on the public site.

Muskoka Regional Centre

 PROJECT BACKGROUND
 

Infrastructure Ontario recently conducted an Opportunities Assessment and Optimal Use Study for the Muskoka Regional Centre property.  The study was released publicly in the summer of 2015. 

  • The purpose of the study was to determine potential land use options for the property that will result in economic benefit to the Town of Gravenhurst and the Province of Ontario.  The land use options must also create employment.
  • Options for the future use of the former Muskoka Regional Centre were considered.  The Town of Gravenhurst, residents and other stakeholders were consulted to ensure the redevelopment is consistent with the community's priorities.  This feedback was incorporated into the report. 
  • Outreach and consultation with the Town of Gravenhurst, residents and other stakeholders is an important component of the study. 
  • The property has been declared surplus by the Ontario government. 

Outline of Site Proposal

School Concept

ABOUT PROPONENTS

Maple Leaf Educational Systems Schools [Website]

Knightstone Capital Management [Website]

 CURRENT UPDATES/DEVELOPMENTS
SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING - OCTOBER 5, 3PM - GRAVENHURST COUNCIL CHAMBERS
OPEN LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY -MAYOR PAISLEY DONALDSON  JUNE 7, 2017
Photo Gallery: MRC Open House - February 28, 2017 will appear here on the public site.
On February 28, 2017 an Open House was held at the Gravenhurst Opera House by Joint Venture partners in the Muskoka Regional Centre redevelopment project. It was an opportunity for the public to learn more about the proponents (Maple Leaf Schools and Knightstone Capital Management) and their plans to redevelop the site into an Educational Institute for Chinese students hoping to study in Canada and Gravenhurst specifically, (the home of Norman Bethune).  Presentations were given by Howard Balloch, Vice Chair of the Maple Leaf Educational Systems and Alan Perlis, Chief Operating Officer with Knightstone Capital Management Inc. Glen Davies, Chief Administrative Officer with the Town also offered insight and provided further detail.

 

Partner Selected - Maple Leaf Education Systems

Council Presentation October 25, 2016

 FAQ'S 

Q: What is the cost to the Town to purchase this property?

The entire cost of the project will be paid for by the Joint Venture.  Costs for remediation, property purchase and development are all the responsibility of the proponent. 

Q: Can you provide details on the offers that have been submitted to the province?

Negotiations are completed behind close doors, to respect both the proponent and the Province of Ontario, details of the negotiations will not be discussed at this time. 

Q: What stage is the project in?

The project is currently in land negotiations.  The Town and the Joint Venture have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines the relationship between them.  The Joint Venture is very committed to bringing the project to Gravenhurst. 

Q: What kind of impact will this have on the town?

The project anticipates the creation of 200 jobs during the consturction period that will take approximately 2 years.  In addition to these construction jobs it is anticipated that the school will require over 200 employees to operate on a permanent basis. It is expected to infuse upwards of $100 Million into the economy over the course of the building, with another $400 Million to operate the school for the next 20 years. 

Q: Where will all the students live?

The proposal is for development of a boarding school.  Students will live in on site dormitories with some staff available if needed.  The majority of staff will be responsible for finding their own accomodations. 

Q: Is it true you will have to speak Mandarin to work at the school?

Students will be taught in both English and Mandarin at the school, with the majority being English.  The proponent currently employs as many of 50% of their teachers from Ontario to teach at the schools in China.  The teachers are not required to be bilingual.  There will be many support positions that will also be available.

Q: Are all the students coming from China?

Students will come from three different areas: International students who want a Canadian Education, Canadian/Chinese Citizens who want their children to learn in both english and mandarin and any other student whose family believes it is beneficial to be taught in multiple languages. 

Q: What happens if this project does not happen?

The Province of Ontario has declared the site "surplus" to their uses and is in the process of disposing of the property.  If this project does not come to fruition the Province will continue on with their disposition of land process.  The next step will be to provide this property to the open market.  The Town will have little say, with the exception of its role as a regulatory agent, with who will buy this site and how it will be used. 

Q: I am in support of this project how can I help?

The Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce is currently operating a letter writing campaign in support of this project.  Please contact them at 705-687-4432 if you would like to fill out a letter. 

Q: What are the risks to the Town?

The town continues to be committed to bringing the school to town but maintains a position of no risk and no cost to the municipality. The proponent will be responsible for the risk. 

Q: Will the Town own any of the property?

The current plan would see a 30 acre park that would be available to the public and owned by the muncipality. 

Q: What is currently happening with the site?  Can I access the site?

The site is currently closed to the public.  This site has been deemed unsafe and should not be accessed.  Those who go onto the property without express permission from Infrastructure Ontario are trespassing and will be prosecuted accordingly. 

Q: What will happen to the buildings currently on the site?  Can they be remediated?

All of the buildings on the site have been assessed and are considered unsafe, with the exception of the heritage gazevo located on the South-West shore. The buildings will have to be demolished, using industry practice and following government legislations to ensure the safety of workers and residents as well as ensure that is safe for the environment.  

 

 

MEDIA

Gravenhurst Calling For Rallied Support on Muskoka Regional Centre - June 16. 2017 Gravenhurst Banner

MAYOR DONALDSON SPEAKS ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS - OPEN LETTER June 7, 2017

Province rejects initial offer for the sale of the former Muskoka Regional Centre - Cogeco May 2, 2017

Plan in the works for the old Muskoka Regional Centre - CTV Barrie March 1, 2017

'Ni hao' Say Hello to new Chinese boarding school in Gravenhurst for fall 2019 classes- Muskoka To-Daily.com March 7, 17

Gravenhurst signs official partnership with Chinese school, developer - Gravenhurst Banner March 1, 2017

Open House Public Meeting- Muskoka Regional Centre Redevelopment - Cogeco Feb. 28/17

Gravenhurst CAO fields questions on proposed Muskoka centre development - Gravenhurst Banner Nov 10/16 

Cogeco Muskoka Interview: Nov.1/2016 - Development Partner Selection Maple Leaf Schools - Glen Davies, CAO

 Cogeco Muskoka interview: July 7/16 - Glen Davies, Chief Administrative Officer

NEWSLETTERS & RESOURCES

Optimal Use Study - Final Report September 2015 (PDF)

Options Presentation - April 26, 2014 (PDF)

Muskoka Regional Centre Newsletter - March 2014 (PDF)

Muskoka Regional Centre Newsletter - July 2013 (PDF)

Muskoka Regional Centre Newsletter - June 2013 (PDF)

Community Design Workshop - July 27, 2013 (PDF) 

Expression of Interest Document - September, 2016 (PDF)

 LEARN MORE/REQUEST INFORMATION

Please contact Jeff Loney, Manager of Economic Development

705-687-2230 Ext.280