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Half-a-million in funding going to Town of Bracebridge to help with Muskoka Lumber Community Centre

The Village of Burk’s Falls and the Town of Bracebridge received $674,305 and $500,00 respectively for projects from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor).

The money going to Burk’s Falls will be used to construct an “indoor/outdoor marketplace in the downtown core,” according to government officials. Notably, they say a two-storey building will be constructed for artists, crafters, agricultural businesses, and other organizations to “promote their skills, wares, and produce, and will support local enterprises in growing into larger spaces and storefronts.”

The officials anticipate five construction jobs will be created during the development process with another 12 kept once the work is done.

Meanwhile, the $500,000 Bracebridge is getting will go towards the costs of building the Muskoka Lumber Community Centre. 

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The approximately 11,000 sq. ft. building will feature a new arena and library, replacing the town’s current 70-year-old area and 111-year-old old library. It will also feature a multi-sport fieldhouse, indoor and outdoor fields, as well as walking trails and on-site parking. 

It’s possible that a second arena could be constructed. 

When Aquicon Construction was awarded the building contract in Dec. 2021, they came in with a bid nearly $20 million more than what the town budgeted for. “Substantial” design changes were made to bring the project closer to an acceptable price. 

Government officials say 100 construction jobs will be created during the development of the community centre with 15 maintained once the job is finished. 

This funding comes just over a year after the provincial government pitched in with $16 million in funding.

It’s expected the community centre will be open by the summer of 2024.

The funding comes through FedNor’s Canada Community Revitalization Fund, which was established in June 2021 as a way to help the Canadian economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Over $500 million has been provided over two years through the fund to “stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.”

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