Sault jail, North Bay MNR office and a dozen other northeastern properties up for sale by province

The provincial government wants to tell you about a great real estate opportunity. Actually 486 opportunities, including at least a dozen in northeastern Ontario.

Province hopes to make as much as $135 million from real estate sales

The old McNabb Street jail in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is one of the 144 surplus properties the province is looking to unload. It is one of the few listed for sale, with a price tag of $99,000. (Google Streetview)

For $99,000, you could own a 35,000 square foot historic brick building in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

It used to be a jail.

If you're looking for waterfront property, you could pick up a lakefront lot in Temagami for $145,000 or move into the old Ministry of Natural Resources office on Trout Lake in North Bay.

These are among the 486 public properties that the province is putting up for sale, in hopes of raising between $109 and $135 million.

"Everyday we're spending money on maintenance and liability for vacant building or property, is a day we're not providing value for the taxpayer," minister of government and community services Bill Walker, says.

He says unloading these properties could also save the province $9.6 million in annual operating and insurance costs.

The offices of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on the shores of Trout Lake in North Bay is one of the buildings the provincial government is looking to sell. (Google Streetview)

"It's unconscionable that they would know that they could have saved the taxpayer $10 million a year on properties they are sitting paying money out," Walker says.

A good example is an old police station in North Bay, that's been sitting empty for the last 10 years.

"Roughly about $100,000 a year to maintain that for snow removal, grass cutting, heat, hydro all those kinds of things. So it's doing nothing for the taxpayer other than bleeding money out that's not going to you," Walker says.

So far 243 properties have been cleared for sale at fair market value and won't have an impact on local services.

Fifteen of those properties are in northeastern Ontario, for most the province is still going through "due diligence" before listening them for sale.

  • 0.3 acres of vacant land at the Lilabelle Lake Air Base, near Cochrane
  • 1 acre vacant property on Airport Road in Fort Albany
  • Residential duplex at 57 and 59 Charles Street in Killarney, formerly used to house employees of the Ontario Provincial Police
  • Three forested properties of 2 acres, 40 acres and 43 acres near the Quebec border in the Larder Lake area
  • 7 acre-site that was the former Meldrum Bay Patrol Yard for the Ministry of Transportation, off Highway 540 on Manitoulin Island
  • The former Sault Ste. Marie Jail at 145 McNabb Street
  • 1.5 acre woodlot at Highway 532 and Marter Road in Searchmont
  • Former Ontario Provincial Police station sitting on 3.5 acres at 590 Chippewa Street West in North Bay
  • 28,000 square foot former Ministry of Natural Resources office sitting on 5 acres on Trout Lake in North Bay
  • More than 3,000 acres wooded and vacant property at the Killarney turnoff, Highways 69 and 637, south of Sudbury
  • 2.6 acre "narrow" waterfront property at 38 Lakeshore Road in Temagami
  • 5.4 acre property with former communications tower known as the Swastika Tree Nursery Tower
  • 3-acre site at the former Ministry of Transportation yard at 1092 Main Street in Whitefish Falls

About the Author

Erik White


Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.