Demolition of the Wigamog Inn property on Lake Kashagawigamog commenced March 30, with some of the exterior cabins at the site being knocked down.
The resort, located on Wigamog Road, has been slated for demolition for around a year. Owner Aurora Group previously told The Highlander it sourced a contractor to complete the work last September, with initial assessments taking place in January.
Neighbours reported seeing workers on-site last Thursday, with work on some of the outbuildings taking place. An excavator was also delivered to the property. Teardown of some cabins had been completed as of April 5.
There had been some debate over demolition plans, with Dysart et al staff coming close to presenting an RFP for the project to council earlier this year. That came after a month-long consultation between township bylaw officials and Aurora Group over the condition of the site.
Bylaw officer, Robert Mascia, outlined 47 infractions of the township’s property standards bylaw last summer, with issues varying from downed power lines to smashed windows, damaged doors, and collapsed decks.
After being issued several remedial action notices to restore the property, Aurora Group ownership informed members of Dysart’s property standards commitee last August that they intended to demolish the site. They were given two months to present plans to the commitee, but failed to meet an Oct. 3 deadline. Staff have been developing an RFP ever since.
The site boasts a main lodge structure and 36 accessory buildings.
Mascia told The Highlander the township has paused on issuing an RFP after he was satisfied Aurora Group was proceeding with their own plans. He said he visited the site last week and spoke with workers.
Wigamog demolition to take six weeks
“We will hold off unless there are circumstances that require us to move forward,” Mascia said. “The RFP is ready to go to council if needed.”
In the event the township issues its own RFP to complete work, Aurora Group would be billed. Multiple attempts from The Highlander to reach Ravi Aurora, Aurora Group president, for comment on the demolition and subsequent plans for the site have been unsuccessful. In a previous email, Aurora said, “our anticipation is that this will be completed fairly soon, and we can be underway for what new and exciting is in store for future developments for Wigamog…
“Although it has been a bumpy road during rough times of COVID for hospitality, which is the hardest-hit industry, our team at Aurora Group is optimistic and resilient. Aurora Group has extensive plans for both Wigamog and Pinestone (which the group also owns). We hope to receive cooperation from council and the local community for new and exciting plans to come.”
Aurora Group purchased the Wigamog property in 2016. A post on the company’s website outlines plans to build a new residential development on over 40 acres of land at the site, featuring 180-plus units including condos, townhouses, and detached homes.
Mascia said Aurora Group has estimated a sixweek timeframe to complete demolition.