Waterfront Development Strategy

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Image of the Waterfront Strategy Study Area

The Town of Huntsville is preparing a new Waterfront Development Strategy Design Brief to guide detailed planning and design along Huntsville’s waterfront from Highway 11 to Lion’s Lookout. The Waterfront Design Brief is to be prepared in an open and collaborative process over the coming months.

Waterfront planning history:

The Town’s original Waterfront Planning Strategy was prepared in 1991. The purpose was to articulate a vision for the long-term development of the waterfront which would connect the residents and visitors with Hunters Bay and the Muskoka River leading to Fairy Lake. Over the past 30 years, many recommendations have been implemented:

  • Hunters Bay Trail has been built;
  • Built a pavilion and boat launch at the foot of Young Street including parking
  • Purchased the Martin Lumber property and developed River Mill Park;
  • Expanded Town Dock facilities to encourage more boaters to stop and shop in the downtown area.

The next major waterfront review was done in the Strategic Economic Development Plan in 2002. The Plan states, “Continued development of our trails, parks and waterfront is an important part of our Strategic Plan. We will enhance our Town Dock area and we will work towards establishing a Park with a connecting bridge on property adjacent to Main Street bridge, currently used as a Treatment Plant".

The Town’s Strategic Plan was approved by Council in 2019. It sets out the following goals which can be directly linked to waterfront development:

  • Identify opportunities to ensure vibrant downtown;
  • Create opportunities to ensure vulnerable populations have access to recreation, housing & active living;
  • Maintain an up-to-date parks and trails inventory and use that info to develop short term park development, reconstruction and maintenance schedules and to inform long term capital plans;
  • Access to water amenities (expand dock and beach areas);
  • Complete needs assessment of open spaces;
  • Improve pedestrian linkages throughout the Town;
  • Extend Town Dock to the edge of River Mill Park;
  • Complete improvements to Lion’s Lookout including accessibility improvements;
  • Establish more boat launches

In 2020, the Town Council purchased the last two pieces of privately owned property on the south side of Hunters Bay. The Town now has control of the waterfront public land from the Centre Street bridge all the way though to Hwy 11.

In August 2020, the District of Muskoka received a preliminary design report for the final stage of the work required to decommission the Huntsville Mountview Clean Water Plant and replace it with a pumping station. The proposed concept site plan clearly shows that there are plenty of opportunities for the development of the waterfront area of this property and the Town of Huntsville has entered into discussions with the District for the future use of this property.

Help shape the design brief for Huntsville’s future waterfront:

The open "IDEAS" engagement opportunity for this project has closed, however you can still get involved and join us on September 23, 2021 for a public workshop to learn more about the ideas submitted and hear from the consultant on their thoughts and recommendations.



Image of the Waterfront Strategy Study Area

The Town of Huntsville is preparing a new Waterfront Development Strategy Design Brief to guide detailed planning and design along Huntsville’s waterfront from Highway 11 to Lion’s Lookout. The Waterfront Design Brief is to be prepared in an open and collaborative process over the coming months.

Waterfront planning history:

The Town’s original Waterfront Planning Strategy was prepared in 1991. The purpose was to articulate a vision for the long-term development of the waterfront which would connect the residents and visitors with Hunters Bay and the Muskoka River leading to Fairy Lake. Over the past 30 years, many recommendations have been implemented:

  • Hunters Bay Trail has been built;
  • Built a pavilion and boat launch at the foot of Young Street including parking
  • Purchased the Martin Lumber property and developed River Mill Park;
  • Expanded Town Dock facilities to encourage more boaters to stop and shop in the downtown area.

The next major waterfront review was done in the Strategic Economic Development Plan in 2002. The Plan states, “Continued development of our trails, parks and waterfront is an important part of our Strategic Plan. We will enhance our Town Dock area and we will work towards establishing a Park with a connecting bridge on property adjacent to Main Street bridge, currently used as a Treatment Plant".

The Town’s Strategic Plan was approved by Council in 2019. It sets out the following goals which can be directly linked to waterfront development:

  • Identify opportunities to ensure vibrant downtown;
  • Create opportunities to ensure vulnerable populations have access to recreation, housing & active living;
  • Maintain an up-to-date parks and trails inventory and use that info to develop short term park development, reconstruction and maintenance schedules and to inform long term capital plans;
  • Access to water amenities (expand dock and beach areas);
  • Complete needs assessment of open spaces;
  • Improve pedestrian linkages throughout the Town;
  • Extend Town Dock to the edge of River Mill Park;
  • Complete improvements to Lion’s Lookout including accessibility improvements;
  • Establish more boat launches

In 2020, the Town Council purchased the last two pieces of privately owned property on the south side of Hunters Bay. The Town now has control of the waterfront public land from the Centre Street bridge all the way though to Hwy 11.

In August 2020, the District of Muskoka received a preliminary design report for the final stage of the work required to decommission the Huntsville Mountview Clean Water Plant and replace it with a pumping station. The proposed concept site plan clearly shows that there are plenty of opportunities for the development of the waterfront area of this property and the Town of Huntsville has entered into discussions with the District for the future use of this property.

Help shape the design brief for Huntsville’s future waterfront:

The open "IDEAS" engagement opportunity for this project has closed, however you can still get involved and join us on September 23, 2021 for a public workshop to learn more about the ideas submitted and hear from the consultant on their thoughts and recommendations.


  • Waterfront Strategy Public Workshop September 23

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    The Town’s Waterfront Design Strategy is underway. We’ve talked to lots of people and had many ideas shared online. Please join our public workshop to hear about what we’ve learned so far, a summary of the common themes of what we’ve heard and ideas and opportunities for change. The workshop will be held via Zoom and begin with a presentation, followed by a conversation with all those at the meeting.


    Join one of two sessions on Thursday, September 23, 2021:


    Session 1: 2:00pm - 3:30 pm

    or

    Session 2: 6:30pm to 8:00 pm


    Please register one person per household at https://huntsvillewaterfront.eventbrite.ca. Links to the zoom meeting will be sent to all those who’ve registered.

    Both sessions will be recorded and posted to the project webpage so everyone can hear both presentations and conversations.

  • Register for a one-on-one interview on August 25

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    Register to speak with a member of the Town of Huntsville's consulting team to tell us your vision for the waterfront.

    Interviews will be one-on-one for a duration of 20 minutes on August 25 from 9am to 9pm.

    Register by emailing huntsville@planpart.ca

Page last updated: 13 September 2021, 14:36