High-rise condos eyed for Kenora

KENORA, Ont. —A Winnipeg businessman has applied to build a six- to eight-storey condominium development on the Lake of the Woods waterfront in Kenora, but will have to convince the city to ease a height restriction.
Morris Chia, president and CEO of Travel Professionals International, has submitted his building plan to the Northwestern Ontario city’s planning department.
Kenora Mayor Len Compton said that to gain approval, Chia would have to convince council to vary its height restriction on downtown buildings—currently at 10 metres.
“We want to get together with Mr. Chia in-camera,” Compton said. “We’re pretty optimistic we can work out something to our mutual benefit.”
Chia could not be reached for comment at his Winnipeg office.
Travel Professionals International is a national network of home-based travel agents.
Thelma Wilkins-Page, president of the Kenora and District Chamber of Commerce, said the organization has come out publicly supporting the project.
Wilkins-Page said from what they have seen, the condos are high-end ones that would attract retirees or people who might be willing to invest in Kenora.
Compton said Kenora currently is looking to government to help pay for a $9.3-million downtown revitalization project, which he said could be part of the city’s ongoing branding process.
As an example, he said if the city decided to brand itself as a frontier village, it could strip off modern facades from its century-old buildings.
“This was a frontier town in the 1900s and a lot of the Main Street buildings are still here,” he noted.