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New Life for Parks Canada Property?

Over several months the Kawartha Chamber has been meeting with Parks Canada, community members and the Township of Selwyn to explore opportunities for 2 Smith Street, Lakefield. This waterfront property is owned by Parks Canada and was previously used as the Trent-Severn Waterway Maintenance Shop. As many will know, the building hasn’t been used for quite some time and the windows are boarded up – not a desirable image for the Village.


One of the possible uses is an Arts & Culture Hub. A group of local artists, lead by Kay Gregg, have been Akin Collective who have spearheaded similar projects. Akin is enthusiastic about evaluating the potential in Lakefield.

The Kawartha Chamber is partnering with the local artists and Akin to apply for funding to conduct a feasibility study and prepare a business plan. Akin is taking the lead on the application and report writing and would appreciate your input. With a focus on community and creativity, they are eager to look at ways to bring new life to the Trent-Severn Waterway Maintenance Yard. Your ideas and suggestions will be invaluable to the process of defining and designing the property, and they cannot wait to learn what you feel would cultivate a dynamic and creative space for the community.

A short, online survey can be completed here: Please feel free to share with others who may be interested.


Akin is a Toronto based not-for-profit arts organization that provides affordable studio space to over 250 visual artists, designers and creatives. Our studios maintain an inclusive, friendly and inspiring atmosphere where people can work on creative endeavours and entrepreneurial undertakings of all kinds. We also host a variety of arts programming and educational events on an on-going basis across three streams: professional development opportunities for practicing artists, creative workshops and programs, and community engagement projects. As a matter of principle, all Akin events are free or low cost and are open to the public.”