“A community project to restore the past, with the future in mind.”

Sunset Lodge and Harbour in the 1950's.

The Beach has a long history of activity and structures to support those activities.

The Cedar Crescent Casino hosted Dances and Concerts. Saugeen District High School held prom there. These very popular community activities as well as fund raisers will be encouraged to return to this vital public space

The Lodge attracted many w parking for both guests and the public. All photos from Bruce County Archives.

The Port Elgin beach has been an attraction and a public beach since the 1890’s.

The old Edelweiss (soon to be renamed Paradise Inn) hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs training camp.
Hockey players at the beach!.

Interior Courtyard




This project is conceived and championed entirely by local residents and business owners:

Pier Donnini – Queen’s Bar and Grill
Rob Fawcett – Hydro One, Social League organizer, Sports coach
Kevin Carter – Color Works Canada
Randy Bird – Entrepreneur
Dan Murawsky – Construction & Design professional
Michael Bolton – Accounting

The New Train

Pictured above is our proposed “New” Train.  It will be electric and sustainable.
It will be easy to maintain and very safe for riders, plus it has as all the features that kids love, with the added
flexibility to use a route that is best for community, since it does not need a dedicated track.




Q: Are any public funds being used to build the Cedar Crescent Village?

A: No. Funding will be coming from the Private Sector to build, maintain and operate the new amenities.


Q: Are the drawings we’ve seen what the Village will look like in the end?

A: No. They are just a concept. There will be extensive negotiations with the Town .  As well, once we’ve heard from people, the architects version will be geared to fit the area and the setting.


Q: Will the project reduce towel space on our Beach?

A: No. The footprint of the project does not impact towel space. In fact, the project may increase towel space by moving the volleyball courts off the beach.


Q: How will boaters have access to the Harbour?

A: The proposed site plan shows road access right up to the existing Harbourlite restaurant parking. We will propose a timed loading and unloading zone for boaters be established here.


Q: Will this project reduce available parking for boaters, existing businesses and the general public?

A: By moving the area of activity closer to the water’s edge, we expect that the parking will become more efficient. The community will be able utilize an uninterrupted stretch from Elgin to Green rather than the current broken up parking segments which should add not take away parking. We feel that the use of lands adjacent the water’s edge should benefit as large segment of the community as possible and moving parking a very short distance achieves this goal.


Q: How will this project impact the existing businesses at the water?

A: There will be a significant positive impact as we become a destination from all over the Great Lakes and Southwestern Ontario. As well, year round residents will have renewed interest in attending the Harbour lands for various activities which will create substantially more foot traffic. New opportunities can be available as the zone will have activity 12 months a year opening up the option for other businesses to extend their seasons of operation.


Q: How will this project impact the beach?

A: The project will relieve pressure on our beach by providing space for activities and leisure activities on an area currently underutilized. By allowing beach goers to be AT the beach without being ON the beach, relief will be provided for a delicate part of our ecosystem.


Q: Why do we need an event hall at the beach?

A: A goal for this space as outlined in the Waterfront Master Plan is to create a destination. As our community expands, the inventory of assets that can be utilized by business, non-profits and individuals is important to help sustain the growth. Demand is high for spaces like this and the setting will give groups a new exciting choice. The Cedar Crescent Casino that once stood there was a great example of a hall that benefited the whole community. We seek to bring that back, updated for 2019.


Q: Will we see chain brands located in Cedar Crescent Village?

A: Striking a balance between viability and appropriate commercial activity is important. A considerable private investment is being made that will benefit as wide a cross section of the community as possible. This investment would not be possible from taxpayers. Commercial viability will ensure the taxpayer will never have to subsidize the activities while benefiting 12 months a year for years to come and help ensure the property is well maintained into the future.


Q: Will the skating feature require the Town to budget for maintenance expenses?

A: No. The rink will be sustained entirely from private sources.


Q: Will the structures “fit” our beach area?

A: Our goal is to create buildings that are so organic that a few years from now we will never know they haven’t always been there.  Coastal/Beach appropriate is our goal.  Consultation and negotiation with Town staff will ensure this.


Q: Will there be a Train? If yes, what kind of train will it be?

A: YES! The new Train will be an environmentally friendly electric train with a steam whistle and wheels that move just like a real Steam Engine.


Q: Will train rides be the same price as the old one?

A: Prices are expected to be approximately the same and we hope the length of ride will be extended to 2.5 kms.


Q: Are you running a train to make money?

A: The Waterfront Master Plan recommended a Tourist Train Feature.  We believe it is important not only to provide one for the community but to make it viable for the long term so that it is safe, affordable and will be enjoyed by many for years to come.


Q: Will the Train only operate in the Summer months?

A: We expect to be able to run it at various times throughout the year and possibly use it for fundraising activities.






After responding to the Town Request for Proposal, months of public consultation and extensive work with our architect and Town staff we are proud to announce we have created a plan to revitalize the lands at the Harbour in Port Elgin, Ontario. 


We are pleased with the result and are eager to commence this important community project.  This important public asset will be properly utilized for the benefit of both residents and visitors.  With minimal impact to taxpayers and the creation of a true 12 month a year destination, we will create something that generations to come will treasure.


Some of the highlights are:

  • -Full service, year-round restaurant
  • -Public arts space
  • -Community event hall
  • -Recreational services
  • -Harbour and water related amenities
  • -Tourist Train attraction
  • -Kids Zone
  • -Relocation of Volleyball courts to reclaim valuable beach towel space
  • -Open concept Market structure
  • -Open air skating rink
  • -Tourism Ambassador’s office
  • -New public bathrooms
  • -Kids summer programs


Using under-utilized space, the Port Elgin Main Beach will become a destination where both residents and visitors will be able to create experiences, memories and be proud of. 


We have been humbled by the groundswell of support within our great community and take the responsibility to carry out this all-important project very seriously.  Our group of local businesspeople will work with the community to make this a legacy project.   

Please visit our website to see our vision and keep up to date on the project.


Pier Donnini




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