The Proposal Before Council
The owner of the Muskoka Royale College property in the Town of Bracebridge, District of Muskoka, wishes to build an innovative, state-of-the-art, private school on the western portion of the subject lands; a setting that capitalizes on the natural beauty of Muskoka. The school will cater to students from throughout Ontario and around the globe. The school will be built within five distinct “precincts” on the property, and on full build-out will retain about 85% of these lands as natural area. The school precincts are to include a sports complex, senior school, senior school residence complex, junior school and junior school residence complex. Muskoka Royale College is being designed to serve up to 1,800 students at full capacity (which is expected to take 15-20 years to achieve). All site access will be from Ecclestone Drive (District Road 118).
The developer of these lands has retained a team of professionals to guide him through the approvals process. The team has worked with the Town of Bracebridge and District of Muskoka staff to ensure all of the supporting information has been provided. Professional reports prepared in support of this project, include:
- a Planning Justification Report;
- an Environmental Impact Study;
- a Servicing Report; and
- a Traffic Impact Study.
The project will be on full municipal services, with all costs for servicing to be paid by the developer.
The lands on which the school development is proposed have long been identified in the Town of Bracebridge Official Plan as being part of the Town’s Urban Centre, with an overlying designation of Open Space. Section C21.2 of the Town’s Official Plan is specific to these lands and recognizes that they are not intended to be public parkland, but that they can be developed subject to an amendment to the Official Plan, and with development plans to include an open space component, the extent of which is to be determined by studies undertaken as part of the development process, as have now been completed. The subject lands are currently zoned Open Space Two and Environmental Protection One. The proposed development will require Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments to permit a school use and all associated accessory uses, and will be site-specific to that intended use. Locations of school precincts (areas to be zoned Institutional) have been specifically located so as to minimize environmental impacts. This plan provides considerable economic benefits to the Town of Bracebridge and District of Muskoka. Over time, the natural environment will continue to be protected and economic benefits from the school will be realized for generations to come. In short, the project is an excellent fit with this property.