Canucks Balk At Shed Project

Officials in Gravenhurst, Ontario, have backed a proposed amphitheatre project that would bring a roughly 7,000-capacity shed to a park beside a lake, but they may face a challenge from local residents.

The $92.5 million Gull Lake amphitheatre would feature 3,800 seats under a covered area and room for 3,000 more people on the lawn, according to the Gravenhurst Banner. Also under consideration is an 800-plus capacity closed hall, a restaurant and accommodations for performers.

The town’s council backed the proposal to develop the 25-acre lakeside parcel of land in April and applied for a federal grant to cover $75 million of the project in May.

Prior to the decision, Melanson Arts Projects’ Jeff Melanson, a champion of the facility, told councilors during a meeting that the venue could host more than 40 shows per season, floating ideas of jazz concerts and Broadway series.

“We could establish an international destination,” Melanson said, according to the Muskoka News. “There is a huge appetite for economic stimulus tied to international development.”

But residents – many of whom own vacation properties near the lake – voiced concern over noise and traffic issues, the Banner reported.

“I come up here for rest and relaxation, not to have a concert in my backyard,” one resident said during a meeting with town councilors.

“We are not going to hear Yo-Yo Ma, we are just going to hear noise,” another resident added. “What you are creating is noise … four nights of the week all summer when people just want to enjoy their lives here.”

Developer Kendari Land Development announced plans to look into noise and traffic studies.

If federal funding is not approved, the project will be abandoned, officials said during the meeting.