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50-unit seniors complex officially opens in Powassan


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A ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning marked the official opening of The Meadow View, a 50-unit seniors complex in Powassan that helps provide a mix of affordable and market rate housing to people who are at least 55 years old.

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The ribbon-cutting featured people and organizations associated with the multi-million dollar project which was finished on time and on budget.

The project was the vision of Non-Profit Housing Organization for Almaguin Highlands (NOAH) and a plaque honouring the former chair of NOAH, Bill Atkinson and the NOAH board, will hang in the common room at The Meadow View.

“Without Bill this would not have been here,” said Rick Zanussi, chair of the Parry Sound District Social Services Administration Board.

The DSSAB is The Meadow View’s property manager and the agency also backed the loan to build the seniors’ complex.

Atkinson was on hand for the event and said the building was the result of a group of people meeting in Sundridge four years ago with the goal of building a seniors unit in that community on donated land.

Atkinson said when the donor withdrew the land, the project was relocated to Powassan thanks to the municipality transferring land it owned to the groups involved with the build.

The federal and provincial governments were key contributors to the project.

Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota could not attend the opening but communications director Matthew Sookram read a prepared statement from Rota who said a building like The Meadow View was desperately needed to create affordable seniors housing.

Rota’s statement referred to the federal government continuing to support this type of housing in the future nationally, adding the nature of the Powassan project will spur innovative housing research and create more opportunities for a new generation of different forms of housing like mixed and affordable units.

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Nipissing Progressive Conservative candidate and incumbent MPP Vic Fedeli noted that all three levels of government came together to make The Meadow View happen.

Fedeli said the result is a very modern building the builders and DSSAB made possible.

Powassan Mayor Peter McIsaac thanked the organizations for the seniors complex and noted this makes it possible for future growth in the community.

McIsaac added Ontario needs more of these types of buildings.

DSSAB chair Rick Zanussi built off McIsaac’s words, saying The Meadow View will have a lasting effect on the community and allows people who once left the town to return.

Zanussi said the DSSAB owns about 210 housing units across the Parry Sound District, but that still isn’t enough to help people in need.

Zanussi emphasized how collaboration between governments and groups can produce a positive outcome like The Meadow View.

Following the ribbon-cutting, The Nugget spoke to Zanussi in more detail about those behind the construction, especially Descon Construction of North Bay.

“I’m not a salesperson for these guys but they did an absolutely incredible job,” Zanussi said.

The Meadow View in Powassan is now about half occupied. The three-storey building was built on time and on budget by Descon Construction of North Bay. It was designed by Bertrand Wheeler Architecture of North Bay.Rocco Frangione Photo
The Meadow View in Powassan is now about half occupied. The three-storey building was built on time and on budget by Descon Construction of North Bay. It was designed by Bertrand Wheeler Architecture of North Bay.Rocco Frangione Photo

The project was started in the fall of 2020 when Ontario was still in the middle of the COVID pandemic and Zanussi gave kudos to Descon for not only finishing on time but getting the project done within the budget.

“And that’s difficult to do in the best of times,” Zanussi said.

Zanussi said despite supply chain issues COVID caused, the Descon team had the foresight to plan well ahead and navigate through the pandemic.

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This was the first time the DSSAB had used Descon Construction.

The Meadow View was designed by Bertrand Wheeler Architecture of North Bay.

Seniors began moving into The Meadow View shortly after construction ended in February.

Tammy MacKenzie, DSSAB’s Chief Administration Officer, says the building is approaching the half capacity mark and expects occupancy to pick up steam with the official opening now over.

Half of the 50 units provide subsidized housing.

In total, The Meadow View has 18 one-bedroom apartments, six two-bedroom apartments and 26 studio units.

Rentals start at $850 a month and the rate for affordable units is set at 20 per cent below the average market rent for the area.

The building has on-site laundry, stainless steel appliances, air conditioning and two elevators so residents can get up to the second and third floors.

The units have walk-in showers, there is a community outdoor pavilion and also a common room on the ground floor.

Although restrictions may apply, The Meadow View allows pets and the building, located at 175 Big Bend Avenue, has a huge parking lot.

Seniors can apply online at www.themeadowview.ca to rent space at The Meadow View and to learn more about the building.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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