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[West Nipissing, ON] – The Municipality of West Nipissing’s Land Use and Development Strategy for the former mill site received two prizes at the EDCO Awards of Excellence on February 8, 2024. The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) is an association that aims to support Ontario municipalities in fostering their economic prosperity. The said Strategy earned a Planning & Strategic Development Rural Award as well as the most esteemed prize of the night, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award. This award is given to one of the event’s winners across the province for outstanding effort in economic development. It was presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario herself, the Honourable Edith Dumont. 

The Land Use and Development Strategy was led by consultants from Re:public Urbanism and Colliers Project Leaders. The report outlines a vision and plan for the former pulp and paper mill site located along Highway 17 in Sturgeon Falls. It offers solutions centered around housing, greenspace, retail, and highway-commercial business.

“The investment and economic development opportunities stemming from this revitalization project are significant. By transforming the land into a mixed-use property, we can create a vibrant community hub that will benefit residents, businesses, and visitors,” said West Nipissing Economic Development Officer, Kassandra Girard. “The vision was brought to life by our phenomenal consulting duo. This achievement is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and innovative thinking by the municipal team including the West Nipissing Power Generation.” 

Mayor Thorne Rochon added, “Congratulations to everyone involved in this big win and thank you to the residents and stakeholders who participated in the consultations. This shows what one small community can do when working together towards a common goal. Our current Economic Development Advisory Committee and Municipal Council will continue to use this plan as the roadmap for realizing the enormous potential of this desirable location.”

Bruno Lepage, Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Committee, and local business owner commented, “The award is a great recognition of a project that puts the community’s interests first. It’s not often you have the opportunity to dramatically enhance your downtown core with a project that will drive economic prosperity, recreational activities, with integrated housing development while highlighting our community’s heritage.”

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