New look coming to Kemptville’s CR 43


It has been long anticipated, and now it has finally begun – the widening of a designated stretch of County Road 43 within Kemptville town limits is now underway. The project has been named “The Boulevard”, and is intended not only to increase the functionality of the road – which has been struggling to keep up with traffic demand for years – but also to “urbanize” it. 

“The project will include changing the existing 2-lane rural roadway with ditches to a 4-lane urban roadway with curbs and storm sewers,” reads a project description on the Municipality of North Grenville website. “The roadway construction will include 4 new roundabouts and modifications to 2 existing roundabouts. The 4-lane roadway will be constructed with centre medians to limit the turning movements to the roundabouts except between James Street and Anniversary Way that includes a 5th lane to provide access to adjacent commercial establishments. There will be 3 metre wide multi-use pathways (MUPs) that allow 2-way travel on both sides of the roadway as well as pedestrian crossings planned with pedestrian activated flashing beacons.

“The work also includes the removal and replacement of the existing 2-lane bridge on County Road 43 over the Kemptville Creek with a new 4-lane bridge extending to the South. The bridge will provide four lanes that are each 3.3m wide, in addition to two MUPs on each side of the bridge measuring 3m each.”

While the improvements to County Road 43 – which are expected to take approximately 3 years to complete – are sure to be welcomed by many, another potential change to the same stretch of road is already causing complaints. The Ferguson Forest Centre Corporation, which provides many recreational amenities (including amenities for North Dundas residents such as the popular fenced dog park), has asked the Municipality of North Grenville to sell a 13 acre plot of land adjacent to County Road 43, to the north. The plot of land is easily recognizable as a set of agricultural fields which sharply contrast the commercial buildings on the opposite side of the highway. 

The FFC is struggling to keep up with its operating costs. It has assured all those who enjoy the recreational amenities such as the trails and the dog park – including those from North Dundas and beyond – that the proposed land sale would not result in the loss of any amenities. The FFC is hoping that once the Municipality sells the land, which it currently leases to FFC as very low quality agricultural land, the proceeds from the sale (less any expenses incurred by the Municipality) can be donated back to FFC to keep the Corporation afloat. 

The plot of land that FFC wants the Municipality of North Grenville to sell.

Officials from FFC have been very transparent about their financial struggles, owing to the “rising cost of everything”. The equipment being used by the Corporation is decades old, and maintenance costs are becoming increasingly challenging. Approximately $2 million would be needed to keep the operation running. Council on the North Grenville side of the border is considering the proposal, as well as other ways to potentially help the FFC without having to sell any land. It is doubtless that if sold, there would be business developments on both sides of County Road 43 between Anniversary Way and St. Michael Catholic High School. A petition has already been started by those opposed to the potential development. 

While the proposed FFC land sale may or may not happen, the widening of County Road 43 is a sure change on the horizon. Just how much other change will be happening to the aesthetics of “The Boulevard” remains to be seen. 


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