Skip to main content

Boblo Island reverting back to 'Bois Blanc,' ready for hundreds of new homes


An island in Amherstburg, Ont. steeped in history is open for business.

Once a landmark amusement park, Boblo Island is ready to essentially triple its current population through a new development.

Amico Group originally bought the land in the mid 2000s and began studying the environment and species at risk. Their ultimate goal was to continue developing the land for residential use, while respecting the existing environment.

Today, there are about 150 homes on the island. After a year-and-a-half of land servicing and road construction on the south end, Boblo is ready for more.

“From what we're seeing today, we can't wait to see some houses being built,” says Cindy Prince, the VP of development at Amico Properties.

The developer has prepared an additional 220 lots on the south end bringing the total units on the island community to 370, with about 50 per cent of the island remaining in its natural state.

“That's the number that works for the ferry, it works for the environment. It works for the residents of the island, it's a large enough community to be sustainable,” adds Prince. “We're strong believers that people can live in harmony with the environment, if the development is done properly.”

Relics from its past, including the old dance hall, the recently restored Block House and the theatre currently sit dormant and shuttered.

But Amico is keen to preserve the last vestiges of the amusement park for adaptive-reuse.

“When this part of the project is going and doing well, then we'll turn our mind to it,” says Prince. “We've got some real gems here in terms of heritage buildings. What's the best way to move forward with those?”

The 272 acre island still features a white sand beach and kilometres of trails.

The developer is also looking to add a new restaurant and continue its year-round ferry service for both residents and visitors, possibly increasing the frequency of ferry trips as the density on the island increases.

“We're keeping the operation of the Amherstburg Ferry Company under the control of Amico at this time until we find a suitable alternative, someone that's reliable and put safety first,” Prince says.

As for the name “Boblo Island,” the developer is taking it back to its roots.

Original French Settlers named it Bois Blanc for its array of white birch trees along the southern spit, and Amico would like to make the old, new again.

“There are so many happy memories of Boblo so we're not going to be upset with anybody for calling it Boblo,” says Prince. “But I think ‘Bois Blanc’ has a certain cachet and it's our marketing desire to go with Bois Blanc.” Top Stories

Stay Connected