Friday Harbour asks to delay hotel, plans to build retirement home

The builder behind the Friday Harbour resort in Innisfil is looking to make some changes to its construction phase requirements.

Initially required to build a hotel and conference centre and create an official plan for homeowners to rent out their properties in its secondary plan, Geranium is asking the Town of Innisfil to delay those requirements.

“We just want to get it absolutely right,” said Cheryl Shindruk, Executive Vice President of Geranium. “The pandemic has had a massive impact on the hospitality industry and it will be years before it recovers.”

Shindruk said the amendment would designate a plot of land on the resort that would be made solely for a future hotel and conference centre.

“We would protect that site for a hotel that is envisioned at the east end of the boardwalk and allow that hotel to be delivered when the conditions support it,” she added.

Geranium is switching its focus to building a 155 suite retirement facility instead, which Shindruk said is more of an urgent need.

“We are trying to build complete communities and our complete communities, of course, include seniors,” said Leo DeLoyde, Director of Growth with the Town of Innisfil. “So there is a pressing need and we’re seeing that in our research.”

Friday Harbour would hope to have shovels in the ground for the new facility by next spring, should the amendments be approved.

Next spring would also see the creation of an official rental program, pushed back from its December 2021 target date.

“I think Friday Harbour needs to speed that process up,” said Dan Davidson, Deputy Mayor. “We want to do it right the first time, and I think once they get in that, you won’t have crazy weekend parties that are disturbing everybody.”

Meanwhile, Shindruk estimates that a planned retirement home would cost over $50 million.  

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