Accepting Expressions of Interest
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)
Looking for the Cold Lake lot instead (Now Sold)?
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).
Primrose Highway Property
Pt SW 1-64-3 W4
Municipal District of Bonnyville #87
Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
The Estate Executor is accepting 'Expressions of Interest' for this parcel of land which 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.
In the 1940's the two older children (who grew up in wilderness camps and farms north of Cold Lake) had ample opportunity to explore the best of this northern wonderland. Stories posted on this blog provide samples of those early years and of the wilderness opportunities that still awaits the modern day adventurer. (Links at: Wilderness Stories around Cold Lake, History of the Big Kinosoo, US Air Force in Cold Lake)
This acreage is in one of the finest recreational and economic development areas of Canada’s bustling northwest and just 14 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 twp 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 Highway #897 (the Primrose Highway), 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. The more 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. The lease section provides a modest annual income of $2550.
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 parcels. 3 - 5 acre parcels in the area were selling at $90,000 to $100,000 within recent years (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:
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.
Below: Maps #1 and #2
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.
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)
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