Temiskaming Shores group rallies against potential sale of waterfront

Bill Ramsey’s family has been advocates of the New Liskeard Waterfront in Temiskaming Shores, Ontario for the last 50 years. 

When his father and grandfather passed away, Ramsey took it upon himself to carry on their legacy of preserving the area. 

He teamed up with many of his friends and his father’s to start the Friends of the Waterfront – Temiskaming Shores to protect the area from being sold.

“I’ve got to make sure that this doesn’t get sold off on my watch,” Ramsey said.

The City of Temiskaming Shores recently notified the residents of the area about the potential sale of a 3.57 acre piece of waterfront property in New Liskeard.  

We’re not saying don’t do anything with it. We’re just saying ‘don’t sell it’– Bill Ramsey, Friends of the Waterfront – Temiskaming Shores

They released a consultation form to gauge public interest in potential private sector development at this location. The property, formerly the marina buildings and parking, has been owned by the City for many years.  

However, this proposal has some residents worried they will lose access to the free, public space. 

In response, the Friends of the Waterfront held a rally at the property on Lake Temiskaming on Tuesday August 15, 2023. 

The community event hosted live performances by local bands along with other family-friendly activities. 

Members of the group handed fliers and frisbees and were available to answer any questions related to preserving the waterfront from development. They also collect signatures to petition against selling the land. 

Ramey added the waterfront, which is nearly a mile and a half long, is a public space available for everyone in the community to use – not only residents living and working in the area.  

Additionally, the group is gathering ideas from residents and community members on development plans that will promote public use of the waterfront greenspace.

He said some ideas that have been tossed around include an amphitheater for more live music and other entertainment, the construction of a pavilion, an area to have the farmers market, and many more. 

“We’re not saying don’t do anything with it. We’re just saying ‘don’t sell it’,” Ramsey said. 

The property, which is split into two parts, has about 2.5 acres of green grass, ringed by trees and a boardwalk. 

Lake Temiskaming and the Wabi River are on the outside edge.

The rest of it consists of a parking lot with some buildings, including a marina office and store. 

Up North4:52Temiskaming Shores group rallies to protect public waterfront lands

A group called Friends of the Waterfront rallying on the shores of Lake Temiskaming today, opposed to the City of Temiskaming Shores possibly selling lands near the New Liskeard marina. Bill Ramsay is with the group.

Ramsey acknowledged that the city has been transparent and open to public consultation. 

“We’re certainly not mad at the city. We just want to let them know that we don’t want it sold,” he said.

The City of Temiskaming Shores has said that no decision has been made on whether the property will be sold or not.

Mayor Jeff Laferriere, told CBC’s Bridget Yard, he’s pleased that the Friends of the Waterfront are making their feelings known, and that at this point, the city is simply gathering information to make sure any decision made suits the needs of the community.

The process is expected to conclude in October, when the city will decide whether or not to proceed with the sale.

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