Sunset, Town Island, Kenora, ON (Photo by Patty Nelson)

Sunset, Town Island, Kenora, ON (Photo by Patty Nelson)

Nature Conservancy of Canada reaches deal with City of Kenora to purchase Town Island

February 18, 2021


National non-profit is given the greenlight for fundraising campaign

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the City of Kenora reached a deal today regarding the future sale of Town Island. The two partners have been negotiating the terms of the sale since late last year. NCC is pleased to be able to move forward on this project and begin fundraising the $2.85 million needed to conserve Town Island.

The 82 hectares (202 acres) on the island currently held by the City represent an opportunity for the national non-profit and the community to come together to protect the abundant natural values of the island. For generations, campers attending BB Camp and Camp Stephens, cottagers and community members have enjoyed connecting with nature on Town Island. NCC’s goal is to work with these groups to ensure the conservation of the island’s unique biodiversity, while still allowing them to maintain their important connections with the island.

Lake of the Woods is home to more than 14,000 islands and 105,000 kilometres of shoreline. Mature forests play host to wide-ranging mammals, like American black bear and moose, while the shores and coastal wetlands provide nurseries for fish and habitat for migratory birds. Lake of the Woods is also closely connected to Shoal Lake, which supplies the city of Winnipeg’s drinking water.

In recent years, this area has come under increasing pressure from development, contaminants, algal blooms and invasive species. It is for these reasons that NCC has stepped forward to work with the community and partners to care for the island. Now, the charity must raise the necessary funds to purchase and care for Town Island by summer 2022. The fundraising goal includes the cost of land as well as an endowment to help care for the island for the long term. For more information and to donate, visit


“NCC is thrilled to have this opportunity to keep Town Island wild, protecting its important forests and shoreline habitats while we still can. Town Island is an important area, both for nature and for people. We look forward to working with the community on this special project.” - Kristyn Ferguson, Program Director, Ontario Region, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“As a life-long Lake of the Woods resident, I’m very grateful for the Nature Conservancy of Canada to have both recognized the natural beauty and value of Town Island, and for its commitment to this process which will see the island preserved for the benefit of all. I also want to recognize the 12,000 individual Friends of Town Island for making your voice heard and recounting the importance of the formative times that were, and perhaps still are, spent on Town Island and beautiful Lake of the Woods.”  - David Nelson, Friend of Town Island

“The City is pleased to execute the conditional agreement for the sale of Town Island with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The $2.25 million dollars the City will receive for the sale will provide essential funds that are vital to capital projects for our citizens in our community and will retain the natural state of the island for many to enjoy for years to come.” - Mayor Daniel Reynard, City of Kenora


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, with more than 84,000 hectares (207,000 acres) in Ontario and more than 71,000 hectares (175,000 acres) in Manitoba. To learn more, visit


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Media Contact:

Christine Chilton
Community Relations Manager
(204) 942-7416

Kristyn Ferguson
Ontario Stewardship Coordinator
1-877-343-3532 x222

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