Bulletin to members 


Portland Hall and Harbour Redevelopment vision and design workshop



Some members may be aware of issues surrounding the renovation or relocation of the Portland Community Hall (where the BRLA AGM is annually located). The building needs some extensive renewal efforts to bring it up to modern building standards. It would also include the installation of a modern air system, including cooling for the summer months, renovations for washrooms and several other upgrades that are required to bring the building to newer standards. One alternative being discussed is the Township purchasing the former Portland Public School, located on Hwy 15 just south of the town limits. It would be a township building for township use, including functions that would normally be staged in the present community hall allowing for the demolition of the present structure and a use to be decided for that cleared property and parking lot. This workshop is looking at those possibilities. Obviously both have large scale assessment factors for ratepayers within the Township of Rideau Lakes along with how the new building (on the present site) or the repurposed school building will be used going forward.

Just a few years ago the Township of Rideau Lakes looked at options on rebuilding the existing Portland municipal dock or building a new municipal dock. There was a planner and marine builder commissioned for a preliminary concept. I only learned of this through the late Doug Good and I had a chance to view a concept of what was being proposed. It was to be situated at the junction of Water St. and Campbell St (diagonally across from the present Portland Community Hall). There is currently a municipal swimming and beach facility at this location. Two years ago the Township tried to get funding from provincial and federal grants but were unsuccessful. Now, the situation of inadequate numbers of spaces for temporary public boat berths is becoming more acute. Adding to the stresses on the existing docks in 2018 there is the added pressure for the Village and the Township with the addition of Le Boat coming to the Rideau Canal in 2018. Le Boat presents a realistic prospect of new tourism dollars and more commercial development in Portland. There are definitely differing points of view on that new dock structures and the location within the town.

What are your thoughts…

As your representative at this workshop meeting, I am asking members to advise me as soon as you can of your viewpoints on either or both sections (community hall and municipal docks). Contact me at the email address below and I will collate the responses to give a measured priority ranking of the ideas to be entered as part of the meeting record. I can accept information up to 12 noon on Jan 29th. If you need to call me and talk instead of email, call me at the number listed below between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm.

Thank you,


Doug Kirkland, Director, Government Affairs, BRLA

Email address:  governmentaffairs@bigrideaulakeassociation.com    

Telephone:  613-223-9900

My phone is not geared to accept text messages. Text and twitter would not convey the information accurately that you can give me. Please convey your thoughts to me for incorporation in the workshop material.

I can accept submissions or take calls up to 12 noon on January 29th