Preservation of Bowmanville’s Camp 30 buildings gets its start with legal transfer of Cafeteria Building

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Published December 17, 2021 at 12:48 pm

The Cafeteria Building, Camp 30

At least one of the remaining Camp 30 buildings in Clarington will be preserved for future generations, with “future plans” for the transfer of ownership of the remaining four buildings.

Clarington Council approved a plan this week for a 1,202-home development (along with 700 square metres of retail space) on Lambs Road at Concession Street, pending a few legal matters that were cleared up yesterday.

One of those legal matters was the negotiation of an agreement with the landowner transferring the ownership of the Cafeteria Building.

The agreement includes future plans for the transfer of ownership of the remaining heritage buildings and large portions of the property identified as environmentally sensitive.

The rest of the land will see a combination of low, medium to high-density development based on location as set out in the Official Plan amendment, along with two municipal roads, a 4.6-hectare municipal park and a Ring Road which will surround the historic buildings.

The plan was submitted by Bousfields Inc. (on behalf of Lambs Road Development), with Kaitlin Homes signed on as the builder.

The five buildings are what’s left of the Camp 30 Prisoner of War Camp, which operated on the site from late 1941 until the end of the war in 1945. The camp, reserved mostly for German officers, was the site of the Battle of Bowmanville, a two-day affair fought with hockey sticks and whatever else was at hand in 1942, and numerous escape attempts, including an elaborate attempt to break out four submarine commanders in 1943 called Operation Kiebitz.

Prior to its life as a POW Camp, the lands served as the home for the Bowmanville Boys Training School, with two of the early buildings completed in 1927.

According to the Municipality, the Camp 30 buildings will eventually be repurposed and refurbished so that the community can “walk in the footsteps of history” and experience this significant area.

Camp 30 was designated as a National Historic Site in 2013.

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