Local Powerlifter Breaks Records and Brings Home Gold!

Written by Dianne McNeill on June 26th, 2014. Posted in Dianne McNeill Blog Posts, Guest Posts


Kaiya McPayKaiya prepares for a Record Breaking Lift

Kaiya McPay, a local up and coming Powerlifter, made an extraordinary showing at the BC Powerlifting Association’s Provincial Powerlifting Competition in Vancouver, bringing home a Gold Medal and smashing records along the way. Kaiya trains and coaches out of Campbell River’s own Crossfit O’Twelve gym.

Powerlifting is an intense and exciting sport testing both physical and psychological strength. Powerlifters train to lift enormous weights and while there are obvious requirements of great strength, precision and technique, it is the overall iron will and correct tactical decisions which are necessary in order to mount the winners’ podium. There are three attempts in each of the disciplines, the best lift in each discipline is added together to arrive at a lifter’s total for the competition, they are then ranked.

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Seaside Magazine

Written by Harold McNeill on January 25th, 2013. Posted in Guest Posts


Photo: While everyone attending the Seaside Magazine celebration was a winner, Sue Hodgson, assisted by Editor-in-Chief Allison Smith and Seaside Photographer Jo-Ann Way, drew business cards for several special gifts handed out during the evening. (Link in footer for additional photos of the celebration).

A Seaside Celebration

A wonderful time was had by all last night at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney as publisher Sue Hodgson and team members of the Seaside Magazine (formerly the Times) welcomed family, friends and business associates to share in an evening of celebration of their new magazine format.

In the words of Sue Hodgson:

“Think of our publication as an extra dimension of our community space, a place where the West Coast culture is treasured and celebrated. We’re here to give you a glimpse of our people, places and ideas and unleash the vibrant energy that our local paradise has to offer.

To ensure we attain the highest level of excellence in serving our community, we want to stay on top of what’s happening. Please let us know when local events are sprouting up or when any other little seeds of local interest might be germinating. It is truly a pleasure and an honour to publish Seaside, and we would like to thank everyone who has welcomed us into their lives with open arms.  (Quote from the Seaside Web Page)

For those yet to savour the pristine photographic and print qualities of this local publication, take a few minutes to link to the Homepage of Seaside Magazine where you will be treated to a taste of the West Coast Lifestyle. For scenes that will entice you to delve a little deeper – Link Here  

With a sip of complementary local wine and an array of succulent morsels catered by the Spitfire Grill, we were treated to musical arrangements by the ArchersEthan Caleb, Sandy Hughes, Liam McLaren, Liam Moes and Robert McMullen. 

I only managed to catch three of the five in this photo, but it seems certain these talented young men from Brentwood Bay area are well on their way to producing their first record.  Take a a few moments to link to their Crowd Funding Campaign and lend your support as they challenge for their place alongside the Rolling Stones Cover Band, Sheep Dog, and new young voices such as Kristin Hays, Jared Newton and Craig Strickland.
 
On an environmental note, one of the guest speakers, Dave Allan of Rhino Print Solutions, took a few minutes to acquaint the audience with the rapidly changing world of Print Media which has become, perhaps contrary to a widely held public belief, amongst the most eco friendly of industries. If you have an opportunity to listen to Dave speak about the changing status of Print Media, take a few minutes to do so.  Perhaps we can encourage Dave to prepare a U-Tube presentation!
 
Exhibits were provided by several community business owners and representatives, including our very own Lynn McNeill (Expedia CruiseShipCenters, Sidney),  Alysha Yakimishyn (YakimishynArt), and Lucas J. Copplestone (LJCArt). Another family member, Sean McNeill, was on a business trip to Toronto or he would have been present to display his new line of Burg travel watch/phones, a perfect gift for the frequent traveller. For further details link to Burg Canada.
 
A networking event for professionals, by professionals.  Thank you for a great evening.

Harold McNeill
Victoria, BC

Link Here to the Seaside Magazine celebration photos: Facebook Photos

Other Adventures in Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula

Island View Beach: Camping Close to Home

2012 Canada Day Parade Link

 

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Royal Oak Community Gardens

Written by Harold McNeill on November 12th, 2012. Posted in Guest Posts


Community Gardens in Saanich play an important role in helping to maintain the rural ambiance of our Municipality.
(The above photo was modified from a copy posted on the Saanich District Web Site):

(Note: If you have entered this article on the Home Page or Guest Posts section of this site, please click the title to open the full document)

Article Summary

The small parcel of land on the east side of the Royal Oak Shopping Centre on West Saanich Road has never been developed beyond the historical building, now called the Fireside Grill, that sits at the north end.

In 1964, John Maltwood gave over the entire property, including a sizeable endowment and valuable art collection, in trust to the University of Victoria. After maintaining the building and art collection into the late 1970s (ten years after the death of John Maltwood) the University began proceedings to divest themselves of house and property.

Photo (September 2012): View of the 2.77 acre parcel looking south from West Saanich Road at the entrance to the Fireside Grill.

After a successful court challenge, the University removed the art collection and sold or gave the remaining property to the Municipality of Saanich. While the details of discussion leading to the transfer is not known, it seems likely the University was anxious to see the property transferred as quickly as possible as they were receiving a great deal of adverse press over their decision to break the Maltwood trust.

After taking possession, Saanich administered the building and property for several years as a lease, with the first lessee opening the popular Chantecler Restaurant. After the Chantecler closed, Saanich sub-divided off a portion of land around the building and through a bid process, sold the building and small parcel of land to the current owners and operators of the Fireside Grill. At some point in time the entire property was rezoned as C-2 (commercial development).

There is little doubt Saanich realized a sizeable profit on transaction and at the same was able to retain clear title to the 2.77 acre parcel. The question that remains — what is to become of that 2.77 acre parcel of valuable green space?

Both historically and presently, residents and businesses in the Royal Oak area have expressed a strong preference for keeping the property in the public domain either as green space, parkland, allotment garden or some combination of the three.

The purpose of this article is to provide additional background on the property, of previous attempts to develope a strip mall and of the recent community based suggestion of turning the property into an allotment garden.  No one in the residential or the present business community has either now or in the past, openly expressed interest in seeing the property turned over to commercial development.

As outlined in a recent article in the Globe and Mail, (Link Here) it seems new ideas, particularly green ideas, are often met with opposition, sometimes very stiff opposition. It took thirty to forty years for the Agricultural Land Reserve to become fully embraced within the general community. Within British Columbia, the ALR legislation was far ahead of it’s time and has set standards for all Canada. Preserving land in urban area’s, particularily land that can be used for agriculture, green space and parks, is no longer seen as the folly of the few, but as an interest of the many.

Facebook Group:

You are invited to join the Friends of the Royal Oak Gardens group (Link Here). Whatever might be the eventual outcome, if your interest is with keeping the property as open space in some form, it is important to either join the Facebook group or otherwise make your preference known through the additional options provided in Section 6 of the post.

You are also encouraged to make your friends aware of this discussion and invite them to join by adding their name to the Facebook site as a suggested member or by communicating their interest to the email noted at the end of the article. Your friend or friends would be free to join the group or not as they might wish.

Contents

1. A Short History: Property development in the Royal Oak area;
2. Broken Trust: The University of Victoria divests itself of the Maltwood property;
3. Ongoing Development: The importance of community involvement;
4. Community Allotment Gardens: Green, and growing in popularity;
5. Community Survey Results;
6. Community Support: Survey Questions

1. A Short History

Having lived in the West Saanich area for forty years and in the Royal Oak for the past twenty, we have much to be thankful for as our community continues to maintain a fine mix of industrial, commercial, residential and agricultural which defines the best of modern day city living.  The Royal Oak Shopping Centre and surrounding residential area is but one example of that excellent mix.

Thirty years ago the Royal Oak Centre was comprised of a rag tag series of small shops, mixed with a few run down, vacant buildings. Economic prospects were poor as the new Broadmead Village Shopping Centre, with the popular family owned Thrifty Foods outlet, was a vibrant development that siphoned away customers and opportunities from Royal Oak. The Royal Oak Shopping Centre was by all counts, a poor second cousin.

Today, that scene has changed and Royal Oak is now by far the most vibrant centre. It boasts not just dozens, but hundreds of shops, commercial outlets (the large majority, owner operated), as well as a fine mix of single and multi-family dwellings all situated within a pedestrian and cycle friendly area. Re-development of the centre and surrounding area was driven forward with confidence when the family owned Country Grocer first took over the old, then vacant, Eatons Warehouse. Shortly after, Shopper’s Drug redeveloped the old building Country Grocer had just vacated.

Photo (September 2012). West Saanich Road looking north past MacDonalds. Saanich recently completed an amazing new street scape along the section boarding the Royal Oak Shopping Centre through to the Royal Oak Middle School. (addtional photos linked in Section 5)

Needless to say, this revitalization, with the need for new business in order to compete with Broadmead, was not without detractors. Opposition to the proposed MacDonalds outlet was stiff but when that challenge was overcome, dozens of new businesses and residential buildings followed over the past twelve years.

An ongoing concern for area citizens was what would become of the old Royal Oak Inn heritage site and the green space to the south.

2. Broken Trust

The Royal Oak Inn was constructed in 1937 and purchased by the John Maltwood in 1944. The family renamed the building the Thatch and it was turned it into a spacious home within which Katherine Maltwood displayed her large collection of antiques and art. Following her death in 1964, her husband, John, gave over the entire property including a sizeable endowement and the antques and art to the University of Victoria to be used in perpetuity as a gallery in which to display his wife’s precious collection.

During late 1970s, ten years after John’s death, the University went to court, successfully broke the trust and moved the entire gallery to the University grounds. Shortly after they sold or gave the property to the Muncipality of Saanich. Following years of managing the property, Saanich moved to sub-divide a portion around the house, then, by means of a bid process, sold the house while retaining title to the 2.77 acre parcel to the south. The current owners have turned the newly refurbished building, now named the Fireside Grill, into one of the finer dining locations in Greater Victoria.

Photo (September 2012): Seventy-five years after being built, the former Royal Oak Inn continues to serve as a distinquished landmark in the Royal Oak area thanks to the ongoing efforts of recent owners. Much credit must also be given to the many local business persons whose efforts have helped to transform the Royal Oak area into its present form.

The danger that existed back in the late 1990s, was that the both the house and the wedge of property to the south would be turned into a strip mall, something that would greatly detract from the heritage and green space ambiance that now distinquishes the property. The community rose against the concept as most felt there was ample room for commercial, business and residential development within existing  and vacant properties along the west side of West Saanich Road as well as in areas North and South of the centre. It was a number these issues during that time period that lead to the formation of the Royal Oak Community Association.

3. Ongoing Redevelopment

Once the development proposals on the Maltwood property were finally shelved, thanks to the owner/operators of various Royal Oak businesses with strong support from the community, revitalization of the old Royal Oak Mall has continued at a steady pace over the past twelve years.

Although the centre contains a diverse mix of architectural styles, it has become one of the best family oriented business centres in Greater Victoria and is able to serve the rapidly growing population west of the Pat Bay Highway. Had the property in the vacant wedge on the east side been developed into a strip mall, it seems likely the west side would have suffered a slow economic death as opposed to the vibrant centre it has become today.

Photo (November, 2012): It was the foresight shown the family owners of Country Grocer in re-developing the old Eaton’s Warehouse that lead to the revitalization of the entire Royal Oak Shopping Centre.

However, the question still remains: what is to become of the small wedge of property on the east side? There is little doubt residents and businesses of Royal Oak place high value on maintaining the property as “open space” as that is in keeping with the rural roots of Municipality. By enclosing that small section of West Saanich with more business outlets, would create a strip mal with West Saanich Road down the middle.l That would permanently remove the ambiance that has been so carefully preserved over the decades and the ‘breathing space’ that currently exists, would be gone forever.

While much credit must be given to the residents and businesses of Royal Oak for helping to maintain that breathing space, a good share of the credit must be given to successive Mayors, Councils and Municipal Staff, who have steadfastly remained committed to the maintaining of the diverse semi-rural nature of the community.  Most expect that, in the future, agricultural land and green space will always be given high priority in community planning process. Of course, a concern for Royal Oak residents and businesses alike is that the small wedge of land remains zoned as C2 (business development) a category that places it at risk until it is either re-zoned or is committed to the long term development of green space such as would be provided by a Community Garden, park or some combination thereof.

4. Community Allotment Gardens:

With the large number of multiple family dwellings that have been built in the Royal Oak area over the past decade, a great many families have little opportunity (within walking distance) to gain access small garden plots. It only takes a few minutes of research on the Web to determine that in many cities and towns across Canada, often in areas surrounded by a number of multiple family homes, the development of Community Gardens have been given high priority.

These gardens not only act as a place that brings people together in common purpose, they also provide families with an opportunity to remain connected to the earth in a very real sense, something that is important in the daily life of Saanich residents.

On the Community Gardens Home Page, Saanich has this to say:

Community Gardens can offer residents a place to socialize; a place to get fresh air and exercise; a place to feel accomplishment; and most importantly a place to grow their own food.  

Community Gardens are important tools towards success in reducing our carbon foot print by allowing those who choose to live in urban areas the opportunity to spend some time working with nature and by growing food they reduce their reliance on transported produce.”  (Link Here)

Council Policy developed in 2003 strongly supports the concept and provides the guidelines. For anything to happen at the site this Policy will need to be closely followed.  (Link Here)

5. Survey Results:

Over the past two years a number of residents have become active in promoting the idea of developing a Community Garden on the wedge of land.  A total of 334 residents and 45 business representatives2, have signed a petition asking the Municipality to give close consideration to the proposal.

On May 30, 2012, the following motion was placed before the membership of the Royal Oak Community Association (ROCA):

Whereas the District of Saanich has made a commitment to stronger local food security, especially including a greater number of allotment gardens, and

Whereas allotment gardens serve not only to provide accessible healthy food but also to build connected resilient communities, and

Whereas the Royal Oak  area residents and businesses express interest to consider municipally owned property along West Saanich Road across from the Royal Oak shopping centre as a site for combined naturescape + allotment gardens +_ heritage park.

Therefore, members of the Royal Oak Community Association ask Saanich Mayor and Council to ask Saanich staff to examine the potential Royal Oak site along West Saanich Road, and to prepare staff considerations.

The motion was overwhelmingly passed with 17 in favour, 3 opposed and 1 abstention.  As well,  28 members of ROCA who could not attend the meeting on May 30 signed letters (included in Appendix C of a letter to the Municipality) for a total of 45 in favour.

Link to Community Gardens Photographs (Link Here)

Link to Royal Oak Business Community Photographs (Link Here)

Link to Royal Oak Community Gardens Facebook Page (Link Here)

Link to Royal Oak Community Gardens documents (Link Here)

6. Ongoing Community Support

If you think this proposal has merit, your support is needed. Over the past two years a number of individuals in the Royal Oak area, as well as the many that have reviewed the concept, have been working hard by helping to define and move forward with the planning.  While the Mayor, Council and Staff of Saanich are strong supporters of such concepts, it must be made clear the residential and business community is also strongly in favour.  You may help by considering and answering the following questions:

  • Do you think the area between West Saanich and the Pat Bay Highway (south of the Fireside) should be preserved as Green Space?
  • Is a Community Garden in the Royal Oak area a concept you would support?
  • Would you like District of Saanich Mayor, Council and Staff to give to consider the idea?
  • Is there other open space you think would be more suitable for an allotment gardens?
  • Would you be interested in gaining access to a garden plot?
  • Would you be interested in assisting with the project?

Your comments may be returned by:

1. By placing comments on Friends of the Royal Oak Community Gardens Facebook Goup: (Link Here);
(on that page you may also invite additional friends)

2. By placing your comments in the footer of this Blog Post;

3. By email to Harold McNeill: harold@mcneillifestories.com;

Spreading the word:

Community support is important, so please alert your Facebook friends of this Blog Post and of the new Friends of the Royal Oak Community Gardens Facebook Group. If each person currently in support of the project is able to get five or ten of their Facebook friends to link into Facebook Group, it will not take long to collect another few hundred names.

If anyone wishes to comment on Twitter, please apply the Hash Tag: #royaloakgardens.

Links to both Facebook and Twitter are provided in the footer of this article when opened in the Guest Post area.

Letters and Emails of Support to the Municipality:

1. A letter of support addressed to the Saanich Mayor and Council, 770 Vernon Avenue., Victoria, BC, V8X-2W7.

2. Emails to:

Friends of the Royal Oak Community Gardens Ad Hoc Committee appreciates your support.

Regards,

Harold McNeill

Endorsements:

The following organizations have written a letter to the Mayor of Saanich in which they provide their endorsement of the concept of a Community Garden in Royal Oak:

Saanich Community Church
Royal Oak Lions Club
LifeCycles Project Society
Horticultural Society of the Pacific
Community Social Planning Council

(1) A list of residential and business supporters who have signed a petition directed to the Mayor and Council may be linked at: (Link Here)

Painting of the proposed garden site by Dennis Jaques

Photo (2012): Community Gardens, Ad Hoc Committee members tour the potential garden site.

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Estate Property: Cold Lake, Alberta, City Lot

Written by Harold McNeill on May 30th, 2012. Posted in Guest Posts


Fully Serviced, Cold Lake North, City Lot
(SOLD, SEPTEMBER, 2012, Thank you Larry)

This Property is now listed with RE/MAX Cold Lake
Larry Melenchuk 

LINK HERE TO AGENCY

Note: Expressions of Intrerest are still being accepted for 94.69 acres in the MD of Bonnyville along Hwy #897 (Primrose Highway).
Link Here for Details 

More Cold Lake Posts: For additional historical posts about the Cold Lake Area, go to Homepage Categories and link any any of the categories titled Adventure (for Big Kinosoo, etc), Family Stories 1940 – 1960 (Martineau River, Marie Lake, North Bay, Mink Ranching, etc.), Biography (McNeill and Skarsen families), or Fire Department (History of the US Air Force Base at CFB Cold Lake)  for short stories about life in and around the Cold Lake area during the 1940s to the present day).

View of lot looking West from 13th Street. A temporary fence was
constructed well back from the front property line between 511 (left) and 507 (right), 13th Street.
A temporary 6′ X 8′ wooden garden shed sits on the rear of the property.
(Property Photos courtesy of Stephanie Yochim)

Details of City Lot

509 13th Street,
Cold Lake, Alberta

Legal
Plan 1024203
Block 14
Lot 6A

The subject lot is located in a quiet residential neighborhood just minutes walking distance from the:

Cold Lake Marina: two blocks East and one block South (water front picture in footer);
Kinosoo Beach: half block West and two blocks North
Heritage Lakeside Trail: two blocks East (the trail runs along waterfront from the Cold Lake Marina to Kinosoo Beach)
Bibeau Childrens Park: one block East (off 5th or 6th Avenue)

This vacant lot is one of the few remaining properties in the central core of the very popular Lakeside City North. For full street map and and list of vacant lots in Cold Lake North: Link Here, then open “Vacant Lots, Cold Lake North, 2011”.  

For Provincal and general area  maps as well as additional photos of the City of Cold Lake and area (as footers in acreage description): Link Here.

The subject property is gently sloping back from the roadway and is in an area of well kept homes and properties.  Two intersecting alley’s at the rear of the property make this lot ideal for the building of a garage and/or pad to accomodate a motor home, other recreational vehicles, boat or a shop. The lot is serviced along 13th Street.

At 43.28 meters long and 14.76 meters wide, the lot is average size for the area and larger than many recently developed lots in other areas of the city.  

For details on submitting a written Expressions of Interest contact the Executor by email at:   harold@mcneillifestories.com.

Canadian Telephone: 250-889-1033 (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

The Expression of Interest is not a binding agreement on either party and is intended only to open dialogue regarding development opportunities and a possible sale/purchase agreement. 

Agent contact invited.

Harold McNeill
Estate Executor

Lot Views and Maps

View of back of lot looking North East over the fence from the South property line.

Map #1: General Area. The property is located about half way down
13th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenue (see also, Map #2)

Map #2: Sectional from above map
(Lot yellow, red street and alley)

Cold Lake Advert Poster

Cold Lake waterfront and downtown core

 

 

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Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada: Estate Property

Written by Harold McNeill on May 22nd, 2012. Posted in Guest Posts


Accepting Expressions of Interest on this Income Producing Property

 

Expressions of Interest are invited for this 94.69 acre parcel of land.
Photo: Looking North along Hwy #897, the property begins on the left at the intersection of
Township Road #640.

(Reference maps and directions to property are located in the footer)
(Property photos compliments of Stephanie Yochim)

Primrose Highway Property

Pt SW 1-64-3 W4
Municipal District of Bonnyville #87
Cold Lake,
Alberta, Canada

The property was part of the original McNeill Family Homestead taken over as a tree-farm by our parents, Dave McNeill (1908-1965) and Laura Skarsen (McNeill) (Wheeler) (1918 – 2008), in the early-mid 1900s.

Dave and Laura were among the second wave of homesteaders in the Cold Lake area who helped to settle the land as they raised three children who later graduated from Cold Lake High School in the 1950s and 60s.

This acreage is in one of the finest recreational and economic development areas of Canada’s bustling northwest and just 5 kilometers by modern paved highway from the City of Cold Lake, a rapidly growing community of 15,000 situated on the sandy shores of the deepest and best known lake in Alberta and Saskatchewan (Link Pictures of Cold Lake). Together the two western provinces are the fastest growing and most economically vibrant in Canada.

Local Area Map (left): The subject property is designated by the small red dot just South of Ethel Lake and East of Hilda Lake. The City of Cold Lake, which includes the Canadian Forces Base, is designated by the larger red area. Maps #3 and #4 inserted as footers, provide the specfic location and travel distances from the City of Cold Lake.

While the area is known world-wide as being the southern heart of the Athabasca and Cold Lake Oil Sands production area, it is equally well known as a pristine wilderness, filled with freshwater lakes, streams and forests teaming with hundreds of species of fish, wildlife and birds. It is also on the northern migration route of one of the largest populations of water foul in North American.

Access to this wilderness area can be found as close as Marie Creek, an easy ten minute walk (1.5 km) from the property. A short canoe ride down the creek will place the adventurer among colonies of Beaver as they cut trees, build dams and swim among bulrushes filled with hundreds of nesting songbirds and ducks. In the early spring, the creek is teeming with spawning Jackfish and year round moose, deer, bear and other wildlife can be found in area forests.

Photo: From a family canoe adventure on the flooded Marie Creek. This photo was taken while standing on Highway #897. Link to the full story for further description of the area.

The City of Cold Lake provides a full range of business and recreational services with two large, modern malls (photo below of the Tri-City Mall) that hold the usual array of national and international retail outlets. As well, numerous boutique specialty stores cater to individuals wishing to escape the mall scene.

The historic Cold Lake Marina (photo in footer) provides full service for sports fishermen searching for giant trout and walleye and, as well, provides full service to recreational sailors and boaters.

In the winter a variety sports opportunties is available including ice fishing, hunting, snow mobiling throughout the countryside and at the full service ski facility at Kinosoo Ridge. The new Cold Lake Energy Centre recreation building provides service and entertainment equal to or better than that found any any city across Canada.

The new regional hospital in Cold Lake Hospital is just 10 minutes from the property along the secondary road that runs by the Regional Airport (see maps below). Regular school bus service is provided along Highway #897.

At Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Canada’s largest and busiest military base, military personnel and civilian workers provide year round training in addition to hosting many NATO countries during the annual spring Maple Flag operation. A small section of CFB Cold Lake is dedicated to a commercial air terminal from which regular scheduled flights is provided to Edmonton, Calgary and other key points in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The area also hosts world class oil production facilities that provide heavy demand for high paying professional, skilled and labour services. Rounding off the economy is a strong retail and service industry that feeds the local community. With a number of infrastructure developments both in progress and in the planning stage, it appears area growth will be maintained for many decades into the future.

Today, both the best of the past and the present is available as the modern paved roads and two airports provide easy access to Edmonton and Calgary, at which International Airports connect Alberta and Canada with the world. As Cold Lake is at the end of the north-east highway line, one can then enter the Canadian northland which today remains much as it was in centuries past.

Further Property Description

This single parcel of the farm/development land is serviced by a Class 1 paved highway (#897) referred to as the Primrose Highway. It is fifteen minutes from the City Centre, five minutes from the Cold Lake Municipal Airport and ten minutes from the CFB Cold Lake, the largest military training base in Canada (see precise distances under Map #4 in the footer).

Well maintained gravel roads on the South and West boundaries provide ready access to three of the property borders and access to the North Side via the CNRL lease. A small part of the property lies West of the North-South portion of Township Road #640.

Power, gas and telephone are easily accessed along the main highway and an extension power line runs along the south boundary road.  See attached maps for property location.

The area along the Primrose Highway is now host to mixed agricultural operations, hobby farms, country residential and recreational properties (photos in footer). It is clean, quiet and offers easy access to a number of pristine freshwater lakes and streams such as English Bay, North Bay Recreational areas on Cold Lake, Marie Lake, Marie Creek, Ethel Lake, Hilda Lake, Wolf Lake and numerous others within minutes of the property. Other remote lakes and resorts may are easily accessed by float plane.

The energy firm, Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL), a major player in the Oil Sands Development, leases the Northeast corner of the property where they have producing wells that are kept in immaculate condition. A 5 acre pad, now referred to as a “super pad” now hosts seven producing wells. The lease provides a modest annual income of $7000.

The highest and best use of the property would be with single family residences, continued as recreational property or as a hobby farm.  While it is heavily treed (a mix of poplar and spruce) there is also some open pastureland. While the soil classification indicates there are limitations that restrict capability to produce forage crops, improvement practices are feasible.  There are no adverse easements or encroachments.

The potential for sub-division exists as permitted by the Municipal District of Bonnyville (#87) under the Land Use By-Law. Reference Agricultural Land Section #65.4, p. 38ff (LINK). Several small and one larger sub-division have been completed on neighboring. 3 – 5 acre parcels in the area. These parcels were selling in the $90,000 to $100,000 range in 2010 and since then have increase in value. (reference development map #5).

Lots in the City of Cold Lake range from $75,000 (low end) and for larger area developments, acreages would run to $850,000.

Expressions of Interest

For details on submitting a written Expressions of Interest contact the Executor by email at:   harold@mcneillifestories.com.

Canadian Telephone: 250-889-1033 (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

The Expression of Interest is not a binding agreement on either party and is intended only to open dialogue regarding development opportunities and a possible sale/purchase agreement.

Agent contact is invited, however, there will be an expectation of the Agent having a specific offer against which a suggested finder’s fee for a confirmed sale would be made in a formal Offer to Purchase.

Other options exist.

Harold McNeill
Estate Executor

Below: Maps #1 and #2
Provincial/National Orientation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Below: Map #3
Subject property, named Skarsen L., marked in yellow

 

Below: Map #4
General area of MD and City of Cold Lake
(travel distances below map)

Directions to property from  the City of Cold Lake

From the intersectiion of Hwy #28 and #55, travel West for 8.2 km on Hwy #55 to the intersection of Hwy #897 (Primrose Highway). Turn right and travel North on Hwy #897 for 5 km. The property (in yellow) begins at the interesection with the gravel road (Township Road #640) and continues north along the left side of the Hwy #897 to the CNRL lease which marks the NE boundary).

The property is bounded by roads on three sides (Highway #897 (Green) and Gravel Roads (Red))

From the CFB Cold Lake rear gate, travel north for approximately 5 km. on Hwy #897 to Hwy #55, then through the intersection to continue North as noted above.

 A secondary highway (running north of and parallel to Hwy #55, provides access to the Cold Lake Regional Airport (small airplane on map and as footer below). This is secondary road is also the shortest route to the Regional Hospital, Kinosoo Beach and the north end of the City of Cold Lake.

Aerial View (#5) With sub-divisions and topgraphical lines superimposed.
(see notes below)

Skarsen L., property begins north of Township Road #640 (under the words). Property sub-divided on the opposite corner includes two 3 acre and one 5 acre parcel. Further east, on the next quarter, is Country Residential (CR2) and north, across the Township Road from that parcel are two further parcels, zoned CR1 and CR2 as well as one CR2 (not quite visible) in the top right corner of the map.
Sprinkled throughout the area are other 5 and 10 acre parcels.

Property Pictures

Looking across Hwy 897 and down gravel access road. The property begins on
the far right corner.

 Photo:  The south boundary gravel road turns north to run along part of the west boundary. If you look at Map #5 below, you will note a portion of the property has been sectioned off
on the left side of the road (perhaps 5-7 acres).

 Photo: North-east corner of the property along Highway #897, shows the small
portion of land cleared for the Canadian Natural Resources Limited lease. (Checks are being made with CNLR to see if this access road is available to use for general use to access to the North side of the property)

Neighborhood Properties

Typical building site on various properties in the area.

This was part of the original W & L Skarsen farm where our mother lived for nearly thirty years. The old farm house is behind this new home at the corner of Highway #55 and Hwy #897.

Miscellaneous City and Area Photos

Cold Lake Marina

Evening scene looking over Kinosoo Beach

Cold Lake Regional Airport is 5 minutes south property (reference map inserts)

Additional photos in the Photo Album
attached to this post

 

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Going Green: A Recycled Idea

Written by Harold McNeill on January 6th, 2012. Posted in Guest Posts


Above Cartoon:  In Lacombe, Alberta, Betty speaks to Don about her environmental concerns.
Don comes up with an immediate and helpful response. 

Victoria, BC. The “Going Green” comments, posted below, were picked up from an article posted on Facebook by my dear cousin, Elizabeth Dewan-Curtis-Munroe.  It struck a cord as it clearly puts the push to “Go Green” in a historical context. It sometimes seems the current day “Go Green” effort has more to do with marketing, business and special interest groups than with actual environmental concerns. 

As an example, on the one hand plastic bags are ‘poo-pooed” and people are made to feel guilty when using a plastic bag (as is the gist of the FB post), yet bottled water and trillions of other plastic containers have become the norm. Just think, in a country that holds the lions share of the cleanest drinking water in the world, the citizens consume something in the order of two billion litres of bottle water per year.1

Betty’s Facebook re-post, again re-posted below, puts these matters in historical perspective.

Cartoon (Victoria, BC, 2011): An inveterate ‘we need to go green’ decorator, Harold is spoken to by Lynn about his intent to recycle last year’s Christmas Tree.

(1) In Canada, per capita bottled water consumption grew 40% from 1999 to 2004. In 1999, each Canadian consumed approximately 24.4 litres of bottled water. By 2005, it had increased to about 60 litres per person, with sales worth $652.7 million.

Going Green: A Recycled Idea
Author(s) Unknown

Checking out at the grocery store recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.” The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.” She was right about one thing — our generation didn’t have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then…?

After some reflection and soul-searching on “Our” day here’s what I remembered we did have…. Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please pass along this link to others. Perhaps you may have some thoughts of your own.  If you do, please pass them along by posting below or by email or facebook. If you wish, your comments will be added to the list on this post (credited).  If you happen to find any good cartoons or clips, please pass along and they will be added. I find this fun, as it brings back many memories of my growing up in the 1940s a time when we didn’t do the ‘green thing”.

Additions to the Article

Cousin Betty in Lacombe, Alberta: “Because we had to make many items for home use from ‘recycled’ articles, my Mom would make panties from flour sacks. Ouch! I can tell you, a large number of the gentler sex gave thanks when someone came along with cotton. But, then again, we did not have the green thing back them.”

Cousin Helen in Glaslyn, Saskatchewan:  “As kids were were always so happy when Christmas rolled around and Santa dropped off a box of those tissue wrapped Japanese Oranges. That meant for a few weeks we did not have to ‘ruffle up’ a piece of glossy paper from the Sears or Eatons catelogue when we when to the outdoor bathroom in thirty below weather.  I guess we just weren’t green back them.”

Friend Maggie in Edmonton, Alberta: “How about Christmas morning. The kids had two or three gifts (often home made) and the stocking had basic stuff like a new pair of socks (that we really appreciated!) and some candy…and not filled with dollar store junk “made in China”. But, then again, we were’t green back then. Then, young people had fewer c…lothes and not a bathroom filled with bottles of creams, lotions and potions…oh yes, we ate vegetables instead of buying fancy bottles of veggie juices at the supermarket…you know, all the extra energy required for processing the juices and for the packaging and display. Then again, we weren’t green back then.”
 

Industry Going Green

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  • Maurice Smook

    August 13, 2016 |

    Hi Jillian,

    I don’t know if you are still checking this site but I had to respond again. February of 2017 it will be 72 years since this battle occurred.

    What caught my attention about this incident was on the Go Deep Documentary that aired on the History Channel. First of all I never known that this battle having ever occurred.

    According to my grade 3 teacher WW2 had never occurred. That grade 3 teacher stated that the WW2 and the holocaust was all propaganda. All of my classmates they believed her. I hate to say this but all I knew was that soldiers shooting at each other.

    I almost was expelled from school. My

    Mom my Dad my brother and my Uncle would have been arrested for propaganda. I paid the price. It was ironic a grade 5 teacher told me that Smooks are all commies. Dad was Conservative.

    All the Smooks that I known are all Conservative. If I had the money I would have loved to sue those two teachers.

    As I said I never heard of this Battle. If it were not for that program I would have never had known.

    I started to do more researching to find out more about the history of this battle. The narrator of Go Deep mentioned the names of the pilots who died that battle.

    I missed 20 minutes of that program but the camera crew had the camera’s pointed towards the sign with the names of the deceits. That is how I known.

    According to the narrator There are three who are still missing. W.J. Jackson, Harry Smook and A. Duckworth. A couple of months ago the staff of Go Deep have located Harry and A. Duckworths aircraft. This is on you tube. Harry and A. Duckworth craft is approx 650 feet deep in the Fjord. The individual who is heading this expansionary mission made it known he will not rest until all three of the missing pilots
    will be retrieved. I am sure that A. Duckworth’s kin are hoping for the same.

    What really puzzles me is that I have sent emails to the Smooks. Not one ever replying. I presume its the same with you. Sad. Dad rarely spoke about his family. It appears there is a big secret of the Smooks. I too assume Harry is a kin to my Dad. Harry maybe a 4th 5th cousin to my Dad. I too would like to know. Harry and A. Duckworth served and died for our country. The other is W.j. Jackson – who is also still missing – having died for our Country.

    In conclusion I still ask myself why is this a huge secret.

    If you are still checking this site please contact me. Maybe we may be kin.

    Take care.

  • McNeill Life Stories Wedding Bells: Gordon McLean and Megan Corns

    June 28, 2016 |

    […] More amazing still is that many of those I met are now living and working in communities in or near cities and towns where I spent much of my early life (e.g. Vermillion, Turtleford, Westlock, Edmonton, etc.) For that matter one family from Edmonton lives no more than a stones throw from the home in which my family lived in 1949 at 12237, 95th Street, a time when Edmonton boasted a population of 137,000 and our home was on the very west edge of the city. Today the next block contains the Yellow Head Highway. Link: http://www.mcneillifestories.com/mcneill-family-edmonton/ […]

  • Valerie Heuman (Roddick)

    June 19, 2016 |

    Having just returned to the Okanagan Valley from a weekend in Pibroch, I am delighted to have stumbled on your blog to see the picture of the main street. My aunt and uncle Peggy & Gordon McGillvery owned and lived in the old Post Office on the North east corner of the main intersection and my brother Adrian currently lives south a bit backing on the School yard. We are Sheila’s cousins and still have a close connection to the town.

  • Sheila(Roddick) Allison

    May 19, 2016 |

    Hi. So fun to find your blog. I remember going to school with you and Louise. I loved my childhood in Pibroch which incidentally was named by my grandfather Aaron Roddick. I will never forget the night the garage burned down. Nice to see the landmark photo before the big fire!

  • George Dahl

    April 12, 2016 |

    What a great site. I’m trying to locate a woman named Sally Jennifer who was from the Cold Lake area back in the early sixties. I met her when I was stationed at Namao air base in Edmonton. I was serving with the USAF 3955 air refueling squadron from rhe fall 1963 till the spring of 64. Sally was 22 at the time I was 21. Sally was my first love. I had orders to ship out to South East Asia and we lost contact after that.
    If any of you know the where abouts of Sally I would like to get reacquainted with her. She is First Nation, Blackfoot I believe. She is Catholic and may have attended a Catholic school in Cold Lake.
    Thank You in advance, George Dahl

  • dave armit

    March 23, 2016 |

    good old fashioned police work done by good old fashioned policemen……….in regards to mr cain..i learned a few years ago that he was born on the same day in the same hospital that i was..my father was a close friend of the cain family…!!! interesting..d a

  • Joyce McMenamon

    March 1, 2016 |

    Haha, love it! We should probably eat rats and rabbits rather than beef. Also I’ve noticed that there are a lot less pests where dogs are not kept on leashes.

  • Kari

    February 27, 2016 |

    Thanks for a wonderful trip down memory lane Dad!!! That was an amazing trip and I am so glad that we had the opportunity to share that experience together!
    ❤️