North Bay rezones old industrial land to make way for casino
Former strip club site on Pinewood Park Drive also possible location for casino
North Bay city council has voted to rezone old industrial land on its waterfront to allow for a casino.
Council has been very cautious on the new casino, saying they'll only allow it if the province can prove it's good for North Bay.
But deputy mayor Sheldon Forgette is all for it.
"This is the beginning and the first step and I just want to say that I'm fully supportive of a casino coming to North Bay and I look forward to the growth it will bring," she said.
The abandoned Kenroc site on Lake Nipissing has been owned by the city for more than 20 years and has seen many development proposals come and go over that time.
Councillors stressed that this is just a first step — and citizens will have lots of chances to have their say on the casino before anything is official.
City councillor Mark King noted during the Monday night meeting that, despite his vote for the re-zoning, he hopes legalized gambling never comes to his city.
"There's no question in my mind that we will see casinos here in North Bay somehwere along the line," he said.
"But I want to make it perfectly clear, that morally I don't support casinos."
North Bay council also wants to zone a second city-owned property to allow for a casino — the fomer "Mo-Ze-On-In" strip club on Pinewood Park Drive.
North Bay is one of five northern Ontario cities selected by the province to get a privately run casino. But the process has been stalled for years while Ontario Lottery and Gaming chooses a company to operate the northern casinos.