Public access to waterfront, marina expected in Kelowna Tolko redevelopment plan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Sunny  17.1°C

Kelowna News

Public access to waterfront, marina expected in Kelowna Tolko redevelopment plan

The Tolko mill site is the larger cleared area near the centre of this photo.

The planning process is taking longer than expected but the public should know more about the Tolko mill site redevelopment plans later this spring.

Holar Development, which is the company managing the development and planning process, intends to reveal some “demonstration” plans this spring that are intended to elicit more public input. Holar is owned by the same company (Timber Investments Ltd.) that owns Tolko

“Each of the concepts we present will reflect what we’ve heard from the community so far, including a publicly accessible and ecologically regenerative waterfront, vibrant community spaces that reflect the history and character of the area and a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly neighbourhood with a mix of commercial and residential uses,” Joost Bakker, part of the planning team with DIALOG Design, said in an email to

The mill site, in Kelowna’s North End of downtown, covers about 42 acres. The mill, which had been in existence since 1931, stopped operating in the summer of 2019 and officially closed for good in 2020.

READ MORE: Changing times: Tolko closure marks the end of a way of life, says local historian

“Those concept plans are expected to include some interactive waterfront uses, including boat slips, with the restoration of a natural waterfront and public walkway as key planning objectives,” Bakker wrote.

While no mention was made of how big of a marina is being considered, the City of Kelowna earlier this week was given a $24,000 grant from the Okanagan Basin Water Board to assess the “potential effects of a proposed marina in Sutherland Bay on the Poplar Point intake,” according to a news release from the board.

“Nothing formally has come across our desks,” Ed Hoppe, the city’s water quality supervisor who made the application for the grant, told “But in most areas, if there’s a large development along the lake there is a marina application that typically accompanies that. So before we get to that point, we just want to make sure we have all our bases covered.”

The year-long study, which will cost about $40,000, will focus on the shallow Sutherland Bay that is 2.3 kms from the city’s main water intake at Poplar Point.

READ MORE: iN PHOTOS: Heritage, housing and waterfront fun in future for Kelowna’s Tolko lands

But it will also check out other shallow areas of the lake so it can serve as a template for other possible developments.

“We will be discovering exactly what the depth profile is of the bay area,” Hoppe said. “Number one: What is it made out of, based on the uses by Tolko over the years? What are the depths? What if you stir something up? What is that going to look like? We’re basically looking at the effects of boating activity on water quality and, obviously, marinas are part of that discussion.”

The mill site plan is being done in conjunction with a broader plan for the overall North End area north of Clement Avenue.

 — This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 24, 2023, to clarify the role of Holar Development.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2023

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile