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Ontario City Laments Losing Campground Lease

March 7, 2012 by   - () Leave a Comment

Map of Farran Park campground near Ingleside, Ontario. The campground protrudes into the St. Lawrence River.

Calling it a “heartbreaker,” Mayor Bryan McGillis is lamenting his township’s loss of its lease to Farran Park in Ingleside, Ontario.

“The park has been with the township 21 years,” McGillis said, reacting to Farran’s reclamation by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, effective April 1.

“We felt it was our jewel,” he told the Standard Freeholder in Cornwall.

St. Lawrence Parks has decided it was time for the commission to run Farran Park directly, said GM and CEO Darren Dalgleish.

“Now that the lease has reached its end and with (the commission) in the process of revitalizing the campgrounds, it’s the right time for the (commission) to reassume operation of the park,” Dalgleish said in a press release.

Commission chair Ron Eamer said the park will once again become an important asset.

“The camping sector is poised for significant growth and we see a very bright future ahead for Farran,” Eamer said in the release.

McGillis said his disappointment isn’t due to the loss of revenue the park generated, noting the township shoveled profits back into improving the park, which is located on a spit of land jutting into Lake St. Lawrence on the outskirts of Ingleside.

“It is symbolic,” he said, noting that other communities, such as Morrisburg, were given parkland when the Seaway was flooded.

“Long Sault and Ingleside were forgotten, especially after many people had (lost their homes).

“The Lost Villages felt left out,” he said, expressing his “disappointment” with Eamer, whose grandfather was a former Lost Villages resident, for not advocating more on behalf of the township. The former Osnabruck Township began operating Farran when it became available in the late 1980s. Dalgleish commended South Stormont for its stewardship, calling it “a top shelf job.”

McGillis’ response was hollow: “That’s all we can get, a thank you?”

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