Town lands funds to redevelop old hotel site
The vacant Rainy Lake Hotel will be demolished and redeveloped into a market square in the future thanks to nearly $1 million from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. (NOHFC).
Mayor Roy Avis learned of the good news yesterday afternoon after meeting with Northern Development and Mines minister Michael Gravelle during the 2014 Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) conference in London, Ont.
“It’s a very progressive move for the community. I think as we move forward, and we re-brand ourselves, that this is going to become a real major part of the puzzle in developing our downtown core,” added Mayor Avis, who is attending the conference along with Coun. Paul Ryan and town CAO Mark McCaig.
“Looking forward, it’s a real healthy move for the community,” he noted.
“I’m more than pleased that we got this. It’s going to be really, really good for the downtown area,” added Mayor Avis.
Mayor Avis said the town is now waiting to hear back from Fed Nor regarding funding from the federal government, and he is hopeful “it’s going to fall into line.”
The Rainy River Future Development Corp. submitted funding proposals both to NOFHC and FedNor this past spring.
The town has asked for $650,000 from FedNor. The town and local BIA together will be contributing about $300,000 in real and in-kind expenditures.
Stage one of the project will entail taking down the old hotel, and preparing the site, but not eliminating the history of the local landmark.
Whatever is going to be built will be in the spirit and honour of the historic hotel.
The second stage will include redeveloping the property into a market square.
This will include a farmers’ market and pull-through traffic parking for larger vehicles, such as tourists with boats and trailers.
The market square also would feature indoor and outdoor market space for vendors, with the latter being a building to house them from the elements.