In the past few weeks, the Township of Scugog has made moves to strengthen their core assets, by launching a tourism website, putting out a request for proposals for a Port Perry waterfront plan, and putting out a request for expressions of interest for a use for Port Perry’s old mill.
Now, I can argue these all have one thing that ties them all together, and thus should be the main focus. That would be the old mill. Let me explain. The Township is currently looking for a tourism related business use to lease the old mill, so the mill itself could be a tourism driver, and with the mill being located at the base of Queen St. it is both the anchor of Port Perry’s waterfront and downtown business areas.
Having worked in Port Perry for over four years now, I know the mill has been a point of contention for residents, with some wishing it torn down and others wanting it to be saved and restored. Personally, I think it would be a shame for the mill to simply disappear, as it has so much potential to drive tourism, and it really is a landmark in Port Perry.
The mill represents something no other community has, as it is Canada’s oldest grain elevator. The mill was built in 1874. The historical significance of this building alone can be a real tourism hit for Scugog if marketed correctly. With it being a heritage facility, the mill provides an extra bit of character to Port Perry’s historical downtown.
Already, Port Perry’s mill, as a landmark, lets people know they have made it to Port Perry, with the letters spelling out the town’s name on top of the building.
The Port Perry Farmer’s Market has already seen the potential of the mill marketing wise, as they are using a drawing of it as part of their logo design, because they will be located near it this year.
So, when the Township receives the recommendations from the waterfront plan, I hope the biggest and first priority is to make sure the historic building has a leasee. To residents, the mill is here to stay, so I hope you can look at the mill and understand the potential benefits it can provide for the future of the township.
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Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy