The Municipality of West Nipissing is looking for ideas from the public on how to redevelop a former heavy industrial site.
A virtual workshop is slated for July 27 for community members to provide feedback on what to do with the former Weyerhaeuser mill site in Sturgeon Falls on Highway 17.
Located on Highway 17 in the town’s west end and alongside the Sturgeon River, the redevelopment of the former mill site is considered by the municipality as a “major economic development priority.”
West Nipissing is preparing a Land Use and Development Strategy for the site which was acquired by the municipality in 2020. The project involves preparing a master concept plan for its redevelopment and an associated development strategy to attract potential partners and investors.
Weyerhaeuser closed the corrugated paper mill in December 2002, eliminating 140 jobs.
Once owned by MacMillan Bloedel, the mill was the industrial cornerstone of Sturgeon Falls, located 20 minutes west of North Bay. The buildings were demolished shortly thereafter.
At its peak in the 1960s, the mill employed 600, but production was steadily reduced over the years until its 2002 shuttering by Weyerhaeuser, which had acquired the mill in 1999.
The mill site redevelopment is one of two quality of life and “economic competitiveness” projects West Nipissing is working on, the other being the preparation of a Housing Needs and Development Strategy to address housing supply and affordability issues and to increase housing choices.
“These projects are part of a commitment from Council to ensure that West Nipissing continues to attract and retain families, talent, and businesses to our wonderful municipality,” said Bruno Lepage, chair of the West Nipissing Economic Development Committee, in a statement.
“I encourage everyone to take an active role in shaping these projects and our municipality’s future.”
The Housing Needs and Development Strategy workshop will be held on July 26, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Land Use and Development Strategy workshop will be held on July 27, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Interested members of the public can register for the workshops at westnipissing.ca. Please register before July 22.
The public can also participate in an online housing survey which can also be found on the municipality’s website.
For details, contact Kassandra Girard, Economic Development Officer at 705- 753-6915 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.