The City’s Senior Leadership Team is excited to welcome back Jeff Port as Kenora’s new Director of Development Services. After being hired in September, Port’s set to assume his new duties as of November 15.

Port has recently been working as a consultant after stepping away from the position of Director of Planning and Development in the Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls.

He’s returning to the city after he had previously held the position of City Planner at the time of amalgamation, and the city says he was part of many large developments that focused on the economic development of the community.

“I am excited to embrace my new role as Director of Development Services with the City of Kenora,” said Port, who is stepping into the role of Adam Smith after he left the city earlier this year.

“While the city faces many challenges ahead, there are also great opportunities for improvements in planning, building and economic development. I see a bright future for the community and its citizens,” he adds.

The new director holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies as well as a master’s degree in Planning and Development and is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and Ontario’s Professional Planners Institute.

“Jeff brings extensive knowledge and history to the city that will be extremely beneficial to the Development Services Team,” adds CAO Kyle Attanasio. “We are looking forward to the expertise that he will bring to the city along with a complete understanding of Ontario land planning and processes.”

Notably, Port was recently involved in the province’s decision on development work at Central Park.

Port, as a land use planner, was part of Dawn Mitchell’s team as the two lobbied Ontario’s Land Tribunal to stop redevelopment work at Central Park, proving the city violated proper procedures when they rezoned Central Park in 2021.

As it stands, the City of Kenora decided to not appeal the Tribunal’s decision in August, meaning Central Park is currently set to remain a public space without any housing developments. But work on the eastern half of Central with the new Community Club is still moving forward.