Council approves massive transient camping site at Lindsay fairgrounds

By Roderick Benns

Council approves massive transient camping site at Lindsay fairgrounds
There will also be 64 tent sites and 13 camping cabins.

Kawartha Lakes City Council has approved rezoning for a 172-site transient camping space on the fairgrounds of the Lindsay Exhibition (LEX).

This zoning amendment allows short-term camping, with 95 full-size RV sites, complete with water, electricity, and sewer hook-ups. There will also be 64 tent sites and 13 camping cabins.

LEX general manager Harry Stoddart says camping has always been allowed during events, such as when they had more than 100 campers during a large horse show in 2019. Now, the camping won’t be dependent on anything happening on the fairgrounds.

Shovels will hit the ground this spring to start the project, with a commitment to have 95 RV sites done in time for the International Plowing Match, Oct. 14-17 this year. This massive agricultural event will see about 80,000 visitors to the Lindsay area.

Stoddart says they’re going to create a family campground, with play activities for kids, and river access.

There’s also 30 acres of bush along the river and that’s where the 64 tent sites will be.

“I’d say it’s like a provincial park but with more infrastructure,” says Stoddart.

The general manager sees the largest demographic using the site as people in their 20s and 30s, “along with retired folks with motor homes.”

This is a business the LEX built into its strategic plan in order to find a “solid second stream of income that wasn’t tied to just five days in September,” Stoddart says, a reference to the week-long fair.

He believes the campground is a “long-term, sustainable asset for the community” and provides more ‘hotel rooms’ during the busy summer months.

“Right now we don’t have a good camping infrastructure in Kawartha Lakes. The provincial parks get very busy and booked way in advance.”


  1. Brenda Stephens says:

    This is a great idea for Lindsay. Consider a pool there and possible activities. You will be surprised at how busy you will get. Announce it in the Ontario camping book and any book advertising Lindsay. It can be huge.

  2. ed moody says:

    When I had reason to attend the Indy 500 I regularly stayed at the campsite in the Indiana Fair grounds. I could walk to the Silver Crown race on the fairgrounds track on the Friday night and was a short distance from the Speedway for the 500. Not everyone fishes and wants a primitive camping experience. Some may enjoy camping at the fairgrounds and visiting the local golf courses and area attractions. Look up the history of the Tin Can Tourists and see what they did for tourism in Florida in the 1920’s.

  3. Donna Cresswell says:

    This is the craziest idea I have heard of . Has there been studies completed on the increase for medical services that are already bursting or policing issues or water issues or traffic issues on angeline st at hwy 7. Never mind this could devalue home prices and as a taxpayer in Lindsay I didn’t receive my questionnaire on the implications of said campground . How is it there has been 10 years of studies and arguments on getting a Walmart to our area which would employ hundreds of people but this will all get completed in 8 months how does this work? What will this revenue be used for to improve this area .

  4. Louis says:

    The problem with this is that it is meant to be short term camping which is what is needed but if the same thing happens here as in most camping ground it will all soon become permanent residents which is wrong. There are almost no campgrounds left for tourists to stay. Hopefully that won’t be the case and we can all enjoy this.

  5. Steve says:

    I think this is a great idea. If the town could accommodate snowmobilers…. It would help the town all year round. If we could somehow connect the rail trail together we would draw a lot of snowmobilers. Currently we can’t get through the town on our sleds.

  6. Joan Abernethy says:

    I agree that it should be open all year long. Winter camping can be quite popular if marketed properly. Of course, we probably don’t want to set up a needle exchange next door. Or do we? Sanctuary Lindsay? Nice and close to the highway to accommodate the transient lifestyle? Folks gotta live somewhere, maybe mix up the residents. Nice, upscale winter sports folks with transient tent city residents. Will there be regulations?

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