Clarington working with Jury Lands Foundation to preserve historic Camp 30 buildings

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Published January 24, 2022 at 11:26 am

Cafeteria Building

Clarington is collaborating with the Jury Lands Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, to “rejuvenate and conserve” the heritage buildings at Camp 30 in Bowmanville.

The Municipality’s vision is to repurpose these buildings using a process called ‘adaptive Reuse,’ allowing the space to serve another function while conserving its history. In December, Council approved an Official Plan amendment setting out parameters for residential development with park space for the Jury Lands, including Camp 30.

The Municipality has also negotiated an agreement with the landowners, Kaitlin Corporation and Fandor Homes, which included the immediate transfer of ownership of the largest structure on the property, the Cafeteria Building. The agreement includes plans for the transfer of the remaining heritage buildings (except the Triple Dorm) and large portions of the property that have been identified as environmentally sensitive.

The Municipality and the Foundation have also been tasked with fundraising and finding partners to protect the heritage of the site.

“We are happy to have this plan in place. This area allows the community access to history, green space and provides for further residential expansion,” enthused Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster. “The property will eventually connect a path south through the former Bowmanville Zoo, giving the community plenty of trail access in the heart of Bowmanville. This is exciting news.”

The Official Plan amendment encompasses the entire Jury Lands area covering some 48 hectares of land from Concession Street East to the south, Lambs Road to the east, the Canadian Pacific Railway to the north, and the existing residential development to the west. The lands will see some low and medium density residential development and as many as 1,200 homes built under the proposal with limited commercial opportunities based on location and proximity to Lambs Road, which is a local corridor.

The former Camp 30 campus area within the ring road will be designated as a future municipal-wide park and the buildings themselves will eventually be refurbished, allowing residents to “walk in the footsteps of history,” according to the report from Council.

Camp 30 is the former Boys Training School and later Second World War prisoner of war camp. It initially opened in 1925 as a training school for delinquent boys. During the Second World War, it was used by the Allies as a PoW Camp for captured high-ranking German officers. It is the only known PoW Camp left in Canada, with original buildings dating back to that era.

In 2013, Camp 30 was designated as a National Historic Site and Clarington Council designated the site in 2018 under the Ontario Heritage Act.

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