Court dismisses lawsuit filed against YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka over Geneva Park sale

Friends of Geneva Park accused the Y of a cloak of secrecy around the pending sale of the park

Just days after a group filed legal action against the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s (YSM) sale of Geneva Park to a private purchaser, the YSM says the Superior Court of Justice has dismissed the lawsuit.

Friends of Geneva Park (FoGP) issued a statement on Wednesday as to why the suit was being launched, arguing it believed the sale of Geneva Park, located north of Orillia on Lake Couchiching, to a private developer for profit purchases was completely incongruent with the pre-existing and historical intention of the park and its stakeholders of the past 100 years.

The group alleged the YSM violated the trust upon which it holds Geneva Park.

The YSM said in a statement on Friday that the sale of Geneva Park is now complete.

“We have achieved a solution that is the best possible outcome for our YMCA and all of those who love Geneva park. The buyer can begin the critical process of reviewing this important legacy property for the future. Our work will turn to facilitating a smooth transition, which includes working with the buyer to explore opportunities to celebrate the YMCA’s legacy at the park to this point in time.”

FoGP claims it tried to propose alternative solutions, including providing three Expressions of Interest to meet the YSM’s objectives.

“Most concerning is the cloak of secrecy around the pending sale of Geneva Park,” the group said.

The YSM said in its statement that its Board of Directors will be making a plan about how the proceeds of the sale will be invested into the charitable activities of the association.

“This will be undertaken through a thoughtful process, according to our new strategic plan, which will take some time. However, we are committed to communicating with the communities we serve across the region as these decisions are made.”

The YSM added that it has always appreciated and respected the great passion that many stakeholder groups, including their own staff team, have for Geneva Park.

Published to its webpage on April 4, 2022, the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka announced Geneva Park was purchased by Clayton Smith of the Commercial Realty Group, and said the new owner intends to preserve the unique character of the land and the incredible on-site amenities.

“Clayton has a genuine passion and a demonstrated history of breathing new life into iconic historical buildings in Toronto and destinations throughout the region, such as the nearby Orillia Rama Regional Airport (ORRA), Spirit Bay Harbor in Muskoka, Georgian Bay Airways in Parry Sound, and even the successful restoration of fish species to Shrigley Creek, Manitoulin Island. He is actively conducting due diligence on necessary site remediation and capital improvements.”

A link to the full decision can be found here: