City demolishes stream trail camp after inquiry from newspaper

Gary Kean
Published on August 9, 2014

The City of Corner Brook says an elaborate camp nestled alongside the Corner Brook Stream not far from Margaret Bowater Park should have been taken down long ago.

One day after the city was informed about it by The Western Star, a city crew demolished the structure Friday.

The small, one-room log cabin sat right on a trail shooting off from a main stem of the Corner Brook Stream Trail network.

The builder had taken considerable effort to construct the camp, having debarked large logs used to build up the four walls that were even sealed to help keep the elements out.

There was a flat roof made from smaller logs that were covered with a blue tarp that is now tattered and torn.

The structure also had an arch-shaped attic area made from large, bended tree branches, but any covering over that was no longer there.

The camp even had a back deck overlooking the Corner Brook Stream, which runs by just a few metres away through the trees.

Paul Barnable, the City of Corner Brook’s director of community services, said the city because aware of the camp this past winter. It located the site and the person who had built it and ordered him to vacate the area.

He said the camp was supposed to have been dismantled by city staff and was surprised it was still standing when contacted by The Western Star Thursday. He said other priorities that came up kept the city’s initial plans to bring down the camp earlier on the backburner.

Brent Humphries, executive director of the Corner Brook Stream Trail Development Corporation, said the city had asked him to take down the structure in late February. The corporation refused due to a “lack of manpower and possible retribution directed towards Corner Brook Stream assets.” It’s an enforcement issue, he said.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said it was also made aware of the camp’s existence, but left it to the municipality to deal with.

The property is owned by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper.

With the complex nature of this particular camp, Barnable said the city informed the paper company and got its permission to go ahead and demolish the camp.