Following more than 13 years of planning, approvals and construction, a new 1,000-slip marina on central Canada’s historic Trent-Severn Waterway has opened for operation.

The C$25m Friday Harbour Marina – located on the western shore of Lake Simcoe, less than an hour north of Toronto, is part of a $1.5bn luxury resort complex consisting of the marina, a championship 18-hole golf course, a vast retail complex, a performing arts centre and nearly 2,000 condominium and hotel residences.

Built on the site of the former Big Bay Point Marina, the full-service Friday Harbour Marina becomes Canada’s largest inland boating facility, with more than 17 hectares of man-made lagoons and more than 4.5km of newly-created waterfront. Approximately one-third of the 243-hectare site has been designated as a nature preserve for wildlife, bisected by a 7km network of walking trails. More than 30 unique structures have been built into the marina facility to provide spawning and nursery habitat for fish and shoreline wildlife.

The marina was designed by Applied Technology Management (ATM), creators of numerous large-scale waterfront developments worldwide, including the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. The facility conforms to Clean Marine ecological standards, with accommodation for vessels of more than 100 feet in length.

“At Friday Harbour we want to accommodate all boaters. We’re going to see vessels from small fishing vessels that are there for the day, to mid-sized cruisers stopping by for dinner to large yachts coming from afar, cruising Ontario's historic Trent-Severn system,” said ATM founder and chairman Ed Modzelewski. “We want this place to be a destination unto itself.”

The marina complex also contains a new dealership. Multi-line dealership Pride Marine Group, with 14 locations across Ontario, has signed an agreement to become the exclusive on-site boat dealer, offering sales of both new and brokerage boats, watercraft rentals, service and off-season storage.