LAKEFIELD — Selwyn Township will receive up to $750,000 through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund to retrofit the former Lakefield post office to transform its upper level into more community hub space.
The funds, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), will be used to transform the one-time post office at Queen and Bridge streets into an accessible and comfortable upper-level community space.
“We are very excited to announce this project to the community of Selwyn Township. Not only will we be creating a space that is accessible to everyone, while preserving the heritage features of this historic landmark; but we are also creating a space that will benefit so many in our community,” Selwyn Township Mayor Andy Mitchell said in a release.
“From those who are taking their first steps in the world of entrepreneurship or those who are just looking for a quiet space to work. A space that will encourage learning, growth, and collaboration.”
The township applied for the funding in an effort to create the new community hub and breathe new life into the building, which houses the Peterborough Police Service community policing office for Lakefield and the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce and Tourism offices (earlier this year the agency merged with the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce to become the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce).
The township considers the building space to be underutilized and in need of accessibility upgrades and repairs, partly due to the building’s age.
The project will see the installation of an elevator/lift, construction of an accessible washroom and kitchenette, office/work stations and a board/meeting room.
The new features will make the rejuvenated space the “perfect location for a community space that can be used by everyone,” according to the township.
The CCRF funds projects aimed at revitalizing main streets and downtown cores, reinventing outdoor spaces and creating green infrastructure — with the overarching goal of boosting accessibility within community spaces.
“Our government is committed to continuing to make important investments in community economic development projects that benefit local economies in all regions of southern Ontario, including Peterborough, Northumberland and Kawartha Lakes,” stated Helena Jaczek, minister of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
Jaczek said the funding will “strengthen (Selwyn Township’s) public infrastructure, enhance accessibility and encourage community engagement for this unique and historic community.”
The project is one of 33 tourism, community infrastructure and economic development projects totalling $12.2 million for Peterborough city and county, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County announced last week by Jaczek.
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner