GRAVENHURST — Good news for those interested in the sale of the former Muskoka Centre mental health home on Lake Muskoka.
The province said Thursday it had sold the former 160-acre London Psychiatric Hospital site to Old Oak Properties for $17 million.
“This accelerated sale of a surplus property by the government reduces liability and maintenance expenses and puts more money in people’s pockets.,” says a government release.
“Our government is delivering on our commitment to implement a more efficient and responsible process for selling buildings and property no longer needed to deliver government programs,” said Bill Walker, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “This sale demonstrates how reducing red tape is helping to make life better for the people of Ontario by saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs and generating significant revenue for the province.”
The sale will put the property back into productive economic use, says the Ford government. The City of London has an approved plan for the redevelopment and reuse of this property which includes a large mixed-use community with a residential, transit, heritage, open space and academic focus.
“Putting this property back into productive use will benefit London residents by providing well-needed economic development and jobs,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin—Middlesex—London. “Helping local economies across the province is one our government’s key priorities.”
This comes as Gravenhurst town representatives met before Christmas to continue to present the case for the sale of the Gravenhurst site, after a co-bid by the town and a private school operator were rejected last year in a bid to buy it.
MPP Norm Miller told local Rotarians recently that the 70-acres Muskoka Centre remains for sale.
Yet the province has taken the former Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia off the market.
The 160-acre former London Psychiatric Hospital lands are located at 850 and 900 Highbury Avenue in London, Ontario, and include two parcels of land, separated by the CN Railway.
There are 23 buildings on the property, including the original psychiatric hospital dating back to 1884.
Of the 23 buildings, four buildings and the tree-lined boulevard are considered heritage and will be protected through an easement with Ontario Heritage Trust. This includes the infirmary building, the Chapel of Hope, the assembly hall and the horse stable.
The sale will save the government $778,074 annually in maintenance and liability costs and generate over $15 million in net revenue for the province.
The former London Psychiatric Hospital is one of 243 properties and approximately 14,600 acres that the government is putting back into productive use that will generate roughly $105 to $135 million in net revenue over four years.
The sale was completed by Infrastructure Ontario who also managed the property since St. Josephs Health Care moved to their new facility in 2014.