New horizons for the Gateway site

The 15 acres of waterfront property best known as the Gateway site, has been sold to Tony Porco’s SIS Group for $200,000.

The sale is subject to a 45-day period of due diligence allowing for environmental studies and tests to be conducted to the satisfaction of the buyer. If the SIS Group is not satisfied with the findings within the 45-day period, the consortium can terminate the agreement.

Porco, a local businessman, owns land adjacent to his latest purchase and successfully developed the Machine Shop and Canal District.

Council hopes – maybe expects – Porco can do the same with his latest acquisition. It’s believed the new development will enhance tourism by complementing Canal District properties and providing more options for visitors to the Agawa Canyon Train Station and further activate the waterfront.

SIS plans to create an automotive museum, a deli and restaurant, event spaces and recreation activities and a butterfly museum. SIS Group has said up to 100 new jobs will be created in the retail sector. The Northern Policy Institute Economic Impact Calculator projects SIS Group’s investment will generate more
than $16.5 million of income in Algoma and 139 direct, indirect and induced full-year equivalent jobs.
The property – deemed surplus by the City in 2002 – has sat empty for several years, with a number of proposals designed to promote tourism brought forward that invariably fizzled out.

Ward 1 Councillor Sandra Hollingsworth, “based on what he has done in the past, I think this parcel is going to look very attractive.”

Proceeds from the sale are to be placed in a Gateway Property Reserve and committed to any future costs to the development of the property.


  • Ron Jokelainen

    Ron has returned to writing and reporting after 27 years with Ontario Lottery & Gaming. He began as a staff writer with OLG in 1994 before moving to Sports Marketing in 1997. He retired as a Senior sports analyst in 2021. Prior to OLG, Ron worked in radio and print journalism in the Sault and Simcoe. Folks may remember Ron "Williams" with CFYN-CHAS in the early 90s A graduate of Windsor's St. Clair College Journalism program, Ron lists drumming, gardening and walking among his favourite hobbies.

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3 thoughts on “New horizons for the Gateway site

  1. Tony Porco has done more for tourism in this city than the city has done for itself.
    That being said, he’s also the king of receiving federal and provincial grants, along with falsifying employment numbers to make projects look more economically lucrative.
    Ask around, you’ll also find dozens of people stabbed in the back in the name of business.
    Wonder why Outspoken Brewing is no longer offering canned beer, and they’ve returned to their Queen Street location as a skeleton crew?
    Mr. Porco is currently holding most of their equipment hostage at the Blockhouse Pub after he jacked their rent and their business deal went south. How nice.

  2. the cost of environmental remediation has always been the stumbling block for any proposed development on that property so i’m curious what Mr. Porco’s due diligence is going to find in that regard.

    i wouldn’t be surprised if this falls through but i remain hopeful that one day this prime location can be remediated to a point that it is feasible for development.

  3. More restaurants in the area and ebent dpace? How much does this city trally need, we.have great venues in this city already that sit unused.

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