Municipal Wharf Expansion and Redesign Project


Environmental Assessment


The Killarney Municipal Wharf is a centrepiece in the Village of Killarney. The wharf has long been used for commercial fishing operations with a world renown restaurant operating for over 40 years. It has become an active hub for recreational boaters, tourists and local residents.


Located at the top of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, the Killarney Municipal Wharf has been adversely impacted by the significant water level fluctuations of the Great Lakes. In 2019 and 2020, areas of the wharf became submerged due to record high water levels, leaving it inaccessible to boaters and visiting tourists. To address this situation, the Municipality completed a Wharf Improvement Study, from which the Municipality agreed to proceed with reconstruction of the entire wharf with a higher deck elevation. 

This project involved the completion of a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA). The project followed a Schedule C Class Municipal EA process, which has confirmed the solution identified in the Wharf Improvement Study and has identified a preferred alternative design.

The Notice of Completion has been issued for the Class EA, and the Environmental Study Report (ESR) is now available for public review and comment. The ESR documents the planning process undertaken and provides details of the study recommendations as well as potential impacts and mitigation measures.


The deadline for comments is February 12, 2024.


The Notice of Completion, ESR and previously issued project documents are provided below.

Description of the Preferred Alternative Design


The Preferred Alternative Design is Alternative Design Concept B (from Open House #2), which has been modified slightly based on feedback received after Public Open House #2. The Preferred Alternative Design Concept includes the following key aspects: 


  • The elevation of the reconstructed wharf will be made consistent with the elevation of the existing concrete dock. The grading of the wharf surface would match the concrete dock and be such that it allows for proper surface drainage. 
  • The layout of the reconstructed wharf would generally match the existing configuration, except for the removal of the finger dock at the south-west corner of the wharf. The concrete dock would be extended about 1m further into channel, providing larger usable dry area.
  • Removal of the finger dock would allow for new floating docks to be installed on the small craft basin by the boat launch, providing dockage for small recreational boats. 
  • A mooring area for larger commercial vessels would remain on the south side of the wharf by the main channel.
  • Construction of the north dock would generally consist of steel sheet pile seawalls with anchors to the underlying bedrock and floating docks with timber deck. 
  • The south dock would consist of steel tube piles socketed into the bedrock to support a concrete deck, which could be used for commercial vessels, including the current lease holders at the wharf. The dock would be designed to support full Canadian Highway truck loadings.
  • The south dock would include a fender on all sides. The fenders will extend below the water surface to act as a seabreak. 
  • The existing concrete relief slab behind the east dock and the lightweight fill below would be removed.


The design of the wharf will increase its resilience to climate change impacts, such as the ability to resist extreme weather events and elevated water levels.