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UPDATE: Kelowna mill site developers moving forward with community consultations

(UPDATE: Dec. 8 @ 10:20 am) – After Kelowna council endorsed the Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) for the former Tolko mill site on Monday, the project managers have laid out the next steps for this unique opportunity.

The ARP will provide an in-depth vision for the subject property and the redevelopment will be led by consultations with the City of Kelowna, the community and the North End Plan (NEP).

The planning area includes 40 acres of property located along Guy Street and Manhattan Drive.

Kevin King, a planning consultant with Dialog, anticipates community consultations to start in mid-January which will include a number of public engagement events at important milestones.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

“Our project team is excited about launching the community consultation process,” says King.

“Area planning can have a significant impact on the future of a city and the Kelowna Mill Site offers a once-in-a-lifetime city-building opportunity to transition a large, industrial property to a new master-planned neighbourhood and community destination.”

Dialog is the same urban planner who played a role in developing Vancouver’s Granville Island, the Ladysmith Waterfront Area Plan and the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre.

Dialog was hired by Holar Developments to lead the redevelopment plan.

Holar is owned by Vernon-based Timber Investments, which in turn owns Tolko, and will be managing the planning and development of the site.

Holar’s plans reference the site’s connection to downtown, the lake, Okanagan Rail Trail, Knox Mountain and the history of the property and surrounding neighbourhood.

Residents can read more and stay informed by visiting kelownamillsite.ca.


(Original Story: Dec. 7 @ 4:40 pm) – On Monday, Kelowna council gave city staff the go-ahead to prepare an Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) for the former Tolko Mill site.

In early 2020, the mill closed and ended nearly 100 years of lumber processing.

Although the closure ended an era, city staff say that the redevelopment presents a unique opportunity that is “rare and holds the potential to make significant shifts in [the] community’s evolution.”

City staff will now begin the process of developing the ARP which will establish a clear, long-term plan for the redevelopment of the old sawmill located in Kelowna’s north end neighbourhood.

ARPs are used specifically for large and/or complex sites so they can be developed in a way that is consistent with policies, industry best practices and community input.

Since August 2021, city staff have also been working to establish clear terms of reference that set out the requirements, standards and processes that the applicant team will then follow as they develop the ARP.

<who> Photo Credit: Kelowna mill site website“Both the [North End Plan] and the mill site ARP are proceeding in a broadly parallel process; however, the NEP will generally take the lead, particularly at key council decision-points,” explains the report that was presented to council.

Discussions about the redevelopment of the north end began in July and a few of the urban planners and consultants were announced later that month.

In early November, the NEP moved to the second phase which will include the establishment of the vision and objectives of the north end neighbourhood.

The mill site redevelopment will be influenced by the goals and objectives of the NEP and the NEP will be informed by the future opportunities the mill site will bring to the city.

The ARP process is anticipated to take a few months to develop, however, city staff confirm that the possibilities of the redevelopment “will undoubtedly have a significant and lasting legacy for the city.”

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna



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