I have received valuable information concerning my last post ‘Between Rocks and Rails‘ where I discussed some of the challenges faced by Parry Sound in growing within its current boundaries.
In the post I suggested that access to the undeveloped property north of the Smelter Wharf was limited in part by the need to cross rail lines, most certainly for the more easterly section.
It was confirmed that the most westerly area is accessible through an existing right of way off of Salt Dock Road. So the potential for development in this area does exist if and when it becomes economically attractive to support the construction of the necessary municipal services.
With respect to the more easterly section of land that lies between the two rail lines, and represents more than half of the undeveloped area, access is challenging. It was confirmed that negotiating a level grade crossing with the railways (it’s actually federal property) would be difficult if not impossible. So accessing this area from the Parry Sound end of things would mean access from between the two crossings on Isabella. But, it would be possible to access the property further north, from McDougall Township, off of Oakridge Road. But this might well be a moot point because much of the area surrounds Strain Lake which is an environmentally sensitive area and possibly is not suitable for development.
Overall then the area north of the Smelter Wharf seems an unlikely candidate for development in the next decade or more for a variety of reasons some of which have been noted.
Development in Parry Sound will need to focus on filling in and growing ‘up’ if the town wants to build a residential base that can support services for its residents and those of the surrounding communities.