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MLA raises Safety, Noise and Environmental Concerns about proposed JW Marriott Outdoor Concert Venue


We have learned that the JW Marriott on Lake Rosseau is considering creating an outdoor concert venue in a field beside their hotel for over 10,000 people. The proposal is to host a multi-day outdoor concert on the upcoming July long weekend.

Plans have not been made public by the JW Marriott and the MLA is seeking details from the Township to make a complete assessment of what appears to be inappropriate for this location. Material has also been released by Live Incorporated (an affiliated company that will manage these events) describing a proposed new building at the site with accommodation for visiting bands. This may only be the beginning. It may become a regular weekend event over the summer.

It appears that about 20 trees have been cut in the field beside the hotel where the concerts are proposed to be held. The field also has two ponds and abundant vegetation and wildlife.

Live Incorporated describes the proposed concert venue on their website and is defending the plan on social media by painting it as being good for the economy: “The JW Marriott has had several meetings with all local officials and has been very transparent in promoting economic activity. We should all be thankful for the employment, taxes, economic stimulus and great stewarding of the JW Marriott. We cannot comment on other motives at hand. All we can say is thank you to the JW Marriott for having such great vision and foresight in making Muskoka a better place for all to enjoy.”

MLA Concerns

The MLA has received much communication from members raising significant concerns if this proposed outdoor concert venue goes ahead, which we are seeking to have addressed. These include:

  1. Public safety and security (including OPP, Fire Department and EMS);
  2. Traffic (especially across the one lane bridge at Port Sandfield);
  3. Parking;
  4. Sanitation and other environmental concerns (especially due to the site’s close proximity to Wallace Bay on Lake Rosseau; garbage; and two ponds in the proposed site);
  5. Noise;
  6. Housing/accommodation;
  7. What licences and permits are required and whether they have all been obtained (for example, a liquor licence); and
  8. Whether the proposal is in compliance with all applicable laws and agreements (including municipal by-laws and site plan agreements).

Next Steps

We have communicated our concerns to Township of Muskoka Lakes Mayor Peter Kelley and staff. They are also concerned about potential Township wide disruptions and public safety and are working with the JW Marriott to ensure these are addressed or other options are considered.

Mayor Peter Kelley states: “I met with Marriott’s management team this week seeking to better understand their plan to ensure the safety and security of all residents of, and visitors to, our Township. Because of the nature of the planned event, its location and its timing, I am also particularly concerned about potential disruption to our residents, our natural environment and the use of local roads and other infrastructure. I, along with Township staff and the leaders of other local public safety organizations, will continue to meet with Marriott’s team until we are satisfied that such plans are in place. Ultimately, if this does not seem viable we will have to look at alternative options.”

The MLA will continue to monitor these concerning developments closely and as more information becomes public, we will continue to respond fully.

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