Nature Conservancy in negotiations to buy Town Island near Kenora, Ont.
The concerns involving a piece of an island on Lake of the Woods in northwestern Ontario are almost over.
Kenora city council has authorized administrative staff to negotiate a purchase and sale agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada for a portion of Town Island which is owned by the city. The sale of the land has not been finalized, as yet.
The city originally asked for expressions of interest for the land in the summer of 2019, which raised concerns from seasonal cottagers that the property would be sold for more cottage lot development.
"Town Island really stood out as an incredible priority to us, said Kristyn Ferguson, Nature Conservancy of Canada's large landscapes coordinator for the Ontario region.
"It's the island's natural condition. It's such a priority to keep these pieces of natural land, just in that condition, forever."
Ferguson said the conservancy will prepare a plan for the 70-hectare parcel of land. The island is also home to the B'Nai Brith Camp, which has been there for 66 years.
Ferguson added, "[the city] recognize how important this piece is both to the local community, to the cottage community and want to have an important role in it going forward, because they recognize how important it is to protect it as well."
Ferguson said the conservancy still needs to fundraise the money needed to pay for the property.
"There's also camps nearby that do a great job of stewarding the property," she said, referring to the B'Nai Brith Camp, along with other area summer camps that use the island.
"We do undertake a detailed inventory [that] is one of the first things we'll do. So, a baseline inventory to understand what things are out there. The habitat, the species," she said, noting the island will have its own personalized conservation plan.
- An earlier version of this article stated "The concerns involving a piece of an island on Lake of the Woods in northwestern Ontario are over, with a new owner on title. A portion of Town Island, which was owned by the City of Kenora, was sold to the Nature Conservancy of Canada this week for $2.25 million." According to Kyle Attanasio, the CAO of Kenora, city administration is still negotiating the sale of part of the island which is owned by the city.Oct 23, 2020 4:16 PM ET