New home for Oakville Marine Search and Rescue unit will cost $1.75M


Published July 4, 2024 at 12:46 pm

oakville marine search rescue bronte

A plan to move the Oakville Marine Search and Rescue to Bronte inner harbour for the spring 2026 boating season, will be discussed at the next Town Council meeting.

If approved, the $1.75M project will see the unit move from Oakville harbour, 2 Navy St., to Bronte harbour, 2508 Lakeshore Rd. W.

According to a staff report recommending the move, there are several reasons to do it.

Long-term, there are efficiencies, savings and opportunities that come with the move.

The (former) Metro Marine building at 2508 Lakeshore Rd. W. is a two-storey heritage building located within the Bronte inner harbour. The majority of the building is used and rented to a boat repair tenant.

Town harbour staff have workstations and storage in a portion of the north side of the building. A large section of the building is vacant and currently used for storage purposes.

Other reasons for the move include:

  • Improved docking capability for OMSR’s new larger vessel. Safer location for the new SAR vessel up river in Bronte harbour. Major easterly summer storms that overtop the pier at 2 Navy Street can create significant wave action in the current OMSR boat slip.
  • Cost avoidance for repairs at 2 Navy Street as well as future replacement of the above ground fuel tank. Fuel is available for OMSR in Bronte at the Bronte Outer Harbour marina.
  • Significantly more parking in Bronte.
  • Relocation of OMSR allows for a repurposing of the 2 Navy Street building.

Although response distance will be increased, the new Hike 34 SAR vessel is 45 per cent faster than their current boat. This significant increase in speed more than compensates for the increased response distance.

“Relocating OMSR to 2508 Lakeshore Rd. W. will maintain the building’s maritime function, aligning with its historical use as a Heritage structure,” reads the report.

“This move will ensure a productive application of the building, which has several constraints for other potential uses due to its harbour location and heritage designation.”

Halton Marine unit is also based out of Bronte so there are potential synergies during search and rescue missions.

OMSR will maintain a small presence in the building at 2 Navy Street for their radio room on the second floor, but the remainder of the building at 2 Navy Street would be available for a potential community use within the park.

The renovations for OMSR will be done concurrently with “state of good repair” work throughout the building. This cost has already been approved through a previous capital budget and the two projects will be tendered together for greater efficiency and anticipated cost savings.

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