Damage done to main lodge forces owner of Harbour Island to close public property access

KAGAWONG – Harbour Island is now off-limits to the public due to damage that was done to the main lodge that the owner of the property had been planning to use as part of the restoration of the lodge, cabins on the property and the property itself.

“I’m moving stuff onto the island to begin the process of restoring the lodge, buildings and property back to its past history and someone destroys things in the lodge we were going to use as part of the restoration,” stated a very upset Rob Chandler of what he discovered this past Sunday. “I just don’t understand any of this.” 

He said the acts of vandalism had to have taken place over the past few weeks.

“Now before I can even start the cleanup of the property we have to first clean up the broken glass,” he said. “We were over there on the property on Sunday and to my thorough disappointment we found damage that had been done, and there was broken glass all over. The coloured glass blocks around the doors of the main lodge were smashed. They would have been kept to be used in the restoration of the lodge. They can’t be replaced.”

“Someone had also thrown a chair through the window that had already a long time ago been destroyed, but there was smashed furniture, chairs flipped over and other damage,” said Mr. Chandler. “In general, most of the damage done was around the main lodge.”

“Now we have to clean up the glass and damage before we can have people walk around the property, and before the restoration begins,” continued Mr. Chandler. 

Mr. Chandler said, “unfortunately due to this incident, from now on anyone caught on Harbour Island will be charged with trespassing. Surveillance cameras are going to be installed (all over the property) this week.”

“This is a reminder to everyone, this (Harbour Island) property is private property and trespassers will be prosecuted if they are trespassing, until we eventually get someone there full-time to monitor the property,” continued Mr. Chandler. He said by shutting off the property to the public, not only is he hopeful this type of recent damage will not take place again in the future, “we also don’t want anyone to walk around on the property and hurt or cut themselves, especially with all the broken glass around now.”

“We want to make the property and the buildings nice so people will want to visit the Island as they did in the past,” said Mr. Chandler. “Obviously the buildings are in bad shape to begin with, but when you are trying to restore everything to the way it was and things like the glass blocks—which we would have used in the restoration project but can’t now—it just delays things longer and makes the project tougher to do.” 

Mr. Chandler’s goal is to restore the buildings on the property as much as possible to their former glory and provide for the public to be able to use the buildings for rentals for events such as weddings. He purchased Harbour Island in 2018.  During its glory days in the 1950s and 1960s, Harbour Island was the yachting playground for the rich and famous.