The City of Kenora has found a new business to take over a vacant space in Kenora’s downtown core, helping to bring more visitors to Main Street and to help councillors reclaim a $135,000 investment.

BeaverTails Kenora now has a one-year lease on the City of Kenora’s property at 117 Main Street South, ending in April, 2023. The owner says they’re still setting up services and aren’t open yet, but they can expect monthly payments of $1,000 plus HST for the site, which will go into city revenues.

Kenora residents will know the property is the former location of the Dalmore Hotel and the Lila’s Block building, which was torn down in March of 2019 after crews battled a 12-hour fire within.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined and came just weeks after tenants had been given evacuation notices. As well, the OPP has not offered any updates on their investigation into why a body was found in the rubble of the building, but they have noted they don’t believe the death to be suspicious.

Shortly after the fire, the property between Red Apple and CIBC was listed for sale for $150,000, which the city acquired in February, 2020 for a price of $135,000. At the time, the city said they didn’t have plans for the property but knew it would be a strong investment into Kenora’s downtown core.

By March, 2021, the property had been listed for sale by the city at a price of $135,000, as council seemed to want to get taxpayers’ money back from the investment. But after no bids were made, council opted to develop a pop-up patio at the location, completed by Sierra Construction by August.

The city later put out a tender for proposals for a seasonal or multi-year lease of the property to make some money back on their investment in April, 2022, and BeaverTails was the only submission of interest. The lease agreement with BeaverTails was later ratified at Council on June 21, 2022.

''The City of Kenora's pop-up patio in August, 2021. Photo courtesy of the City of Kenora / Facebook.