ABOUT US

Base31 is a cultural destination on the site of a former 70-acre WWII air training base in Picton, Ontario. An evolving fusion of creative placemaking, culinary arts, heritage, ecology, events, innovation and community, Base31 invites you to peer into the past and co-create its future.

Operated as a military base until 1969, the site transitioned into a business park and airport and was purchased by PEC Community Partners in December of 2021. The new ownership group has embarked on an ambitious revitalization program that includes the adaptive re-use of many of the heritage buildings, transformation of the landscape and significant investment in placemaking, public art, programming, site activation and food & beverage.

Base31 is home to more than 70 tenants including galleries, retailers, makers, artists, landscapers, services and trades.

More than 100 local collaborators have joined forces on the revitalization of Base31.

In 2023, visitors to Base31 will be able to attend an exhibition or concert, embark on a tour or curated experience, experience public art installations, enjoy multiple food and beverage options, rent a bike or wander the grounds.

We are a springboard for makers, creators, artisans and entrepreneurs. We are weaving a thread between the incredible history of this place and a future where anything is possible.

We work, live, make, grow, meet, and co-create on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Anishnaabeg, Huron-Wendat and Mississauga nations. Our site is adjacent to the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka community in Tyendinaga (the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte).

We are grateful to all the Indigenous and Métis peoples who have been traditional and contemporary stewards of this region.

We recognize that all non-Indigenous people are visitors to this land, and it is our responsibility to embrace our Treaty obligation to care for the land.

SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES AND CORE VALUES

We are a team united by a set of core values that guide the place, project, and people behind Base31.
CO-CREATION: It takes a village. Across every facet of the project, we’re building the vision from the ground up in the community through collaborations with the many talented people and organizations across the County.

HONOR THE SITE’S HISTORY: This place is home to a rich and layered history. The site and surrounding area have played pivotal roles in the stories of the County, the nation, and the Indigenous communities who are the original stewards of this land. Through storytelling and placemaking, we will reflect and share the incredible narratives that make this place special.

AUTHENTICALLY REFLECT PEC’S CULTURE: We are County-made. By drawing on the abundant talent, artisanal and enterprising spirits in the region, we will create a place that avoids cookie-cutter approaches and amplifies the best of Prince Edward County.

CREATE A WELCOMING PLACE: Base31 is for everyone. Through our spaces, partnerships, programming, local sourcing and other ways, we intend to create opportunities as widely and equitably as possible across the community, and to create a welcoming place for all.

BUILD SUSTAINABLY: It starts with our relationship to the land. We are working to regenerate local ecology and to embrace sustainable design, building and management practices.

Base 31 Setting Up An Art Studio In Historical Building
© Johnny C.Y. Lam

Base31 is proud to be Rainbow Registered

Base31 Partners Inc. is proud to be among several Prince Edward County organizations who provide an inclusive space. The Base31 team and site partners will continue to make meaningful connections with like-minded people, groups and organizations to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and allies.

We are proud to partner, collaborate, co-create and learn from other queer businesses, humans and corporations to offer a safe environment for everyone in our community and who visit us from afar.

The Base31 venues, outdoor spaces, office, visitor centre, and team reflect values of inclusivity, safety and belonging.

HISTORY

Base31 is home to more than 70 tenants including galleries, retailers, makers, artists, landscapers, services and trades.

More than 100 local collaborators have joined forces on the revitalization of Base31.

In 2023, visitors to Base31 will be able to attend an exhibition or concert, embark on a tour or curated experience, experience public art installations, enjoy multiple food and beverage options, rent a bike or wander the grounds.

We are a springboard for makers, creators, artisans and entrepreneurs. We are weaving a thread between the incredible history of this place and a future where anything is possible.

  • The 70-acre site includes more than 40 former barracks, mess halls, hangars and administrative buildings. It is part of an approximately 750-acre property.
  • The site was built by the Canadian government and originally operated by the British Royal Airforce as No. 31 Bombing and Gunnery School – RAF Station Picton. It was built in 1940 as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan that trained aircrews from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand during World War II.
  • After the war, the RCAF took over command.  In 1946, the Royal School of Artillery (Anti-Aircraft) used it as a training base and renamed it Camp Picton.  In 1962, the First Battalion of the Canadian Guards utilized the base and the site was renamed Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Picton.
  • The site was decommissioned as a military base in 1969 and sold to former Mayor of Picton, H. J. McFarland. He renamed it Loch-Sloy Business Park in honour of his Scottish heritage.
  • The site transferred ownership again in 1999 but the name was adapted to Loch-Sloy Business Park and Airport. Loch Sloy Holdings Inc. under the management of Jacqui Burley is credited with preserving many of the site’s heritage buildings and adapting them for flexible industrial and commercial spaces.
  • Today the site is home to 75 tenants and is used for a wide range of business activities including commercial and industrial operations as well as a functioning space for makers, artists and galleries.
  • PEC Community Partners Inc. finalized the purchase of the property on December 16, 2021.

To learn more about the site’s history and its impact in the County, please click here for more information about site tours.

View from a plane of the historic Loch Sloy site in PEC

COLLABORATIONS AND COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS

The Base31 revitalization strategy is deeply rooted in partnerships and collaborations and the belief that the most interesting and authentic places are built with members of the community. In keeping with that approach, members of the Base31 team began reaching out to individuals, organizations and businesses to explore how we might work together to build value for each other and the community.

Through a series of walking tours and meetings, 100+ community leaders from the arts, heritage, business, community development, sustainability and naturalist communities were engaged between January and April 2022. The response from PEC community members was terrific and Base31 announced the formation of 31 collaborations and community investments in a Co-Creation Kick-Off event in May 2022.

COLLABORATIONS

Collaborations involve Base31 working with others on projects, programs, and initiatives for positive community impact both on and off the site. The following list announced in May 2022 is just the beginning of a growing number of collaborators involved with Base31.

  • Prince Edward County
  • All Welcome Here
  • Architectural Conservancy Ontario Prince Edward County
  • History Lives Here
  • PEC Arts Council
  • Festival Players
  • Department of Illumination
  • PEC Community Craft Beer Festival
  • Ford Cassella Productions
  • Big Lake Arts Festival
  • Jacqui Burley
  • Rainbow Charity Network
  • Driftwood Theatre Company
  • National Airforce Museum of Canada
  • Sparkbox Studio
  • Beerlicious Inc.

COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS

Community investments are donations and sponsorships made by Base31 to support the work of others involved in awesome community building initiatives. The following list of organizations have received donations and sponsorships from Base31.

  • The Regent Theatre
  • Picton BIA
  • PEC Chamber of Commerce
  • Picton Library Expansion
  • The County Food Hub
  • The ROC
  • County FM
  • County of Prince Edward Public Library and Archives
  • Art in the County
  • Melt Studio & Gallery
  • Maison Depoivre

Natural plants in the cold snow Base31
Person in red coat walks between historic buildings at Base31
A line of historic buildings and army barracks in Prince Edward County at Base31

THE LAND

We work, live, make, grow, meet, and co-create on the traditional territory of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Anishnaabeg, Wendat, Haudenosaunee Peoples and Mississauga nations. Our site is adjacent to the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) community of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

We are grateful to all the Indigenous and Métis peoples who have been traditional and contemporary stewards of this region. We recognize that all non-Indigenous people are visitors to this land, and it is our responsibility to embrace our Treaty obligation to care for the land.

Base31, located on the ridge of a steep escarpment overlooking the town of Picton, is creating a new open space experience for visitors through a long-term regenerative effort onsite.

Led by Victoria Taylor Landscape Architect | VTLA Studios, our focus is to:

  • Enrich biodiversity by reintroducing native plant species as living landscapes for local birds, bees and butterflies
  • Create a distinctive outdoor experience through newly constructed pathways and gardens for community enjoyment
  • Reuse of organic materials existing onsite to sustainably connect the past with our future

This landscape regeneration began in the spring of 2022. Visitors and nature lovers of all kinds are invited to follow along and participate as we embark on a process of transformation that will unfold over the many years to come.

Upon acquiring the site in December 2021, PEC Community Partners determined that its first priority would be to revitalize the 70-acre site now known as Base31. Rather than starting with a pre-determined vision, the partners committed to building the vision from the ground up alongside input from the PEC community. Base31 will be brought to life using the strategies and principles of ‘creative placemaking’ to catalyze the revitalization, a practice that involves leveraging the power of arts and culture to generate positive change. Individuals, businesses, organizations and government to co-create an evolving fusion of art, ecology, heritage, industry and innovation.

Terrific work was done by the site’s previous owners to preserve the buildings by installing metal roofs on many of the 50+ structures. Base31 committed to honouring existing leases with tenants and is seeking out opportunities to engage them in collaborations and procurement. As the project advances, Base31 will prioritize uses that involve active businesses, particularly those that will contribute to the vision and attract public visitation.

Base31 is continuing to advance the adaptive re-use of the site’s heritage and plans to preserve as many buildings as possible.

IT TAKES NEIGHBOURS TO BUILD A NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

It’s been an incredible year! Base31 is undergoing a transformation into a unique new destination inspired by the history of the place. We invited the community to co-create Base31 with us and hundreds have joined us in re-imagining its future.

Thousands more have visited the site to see a concert, take a historical tour, enjoy new public art installations, or have a bite to eat.

Now, we want you to join us in the next phase of the project as we envision the Neighbourhood Plan. This is your opportunity to get involved and help shape the future of this 750-acre community that is an extension of the 70-acre site known as Base31. Join us as we imagine and share ideas about what’s possible.

LEADERSHIP AND OWNERSHIP GROUP

Base31 Pre-Restoration Of Historical Buildings
© Johnny C.Y. Lam

Base31 is owned and operated by PEC Community Partners Inc

PEC Community Partners is a group of community builders including Tercot Communities, DECO Communities, PEC Placemaking, and Rockport Group.

The Ontario-based partnership brings together expertise in complete community development, affordable housing and commercial space, mixed-use residential, site servicing and infrastructure, and adaptive re-use of heritage sites with a specific focus on creative placemaking.

In 2021, PEC Community Partners Inc. purchased the Loch-Sloy Business Park, an approximately 700-acre property in Prince Edward County, Ontario, and the former site of a World War II training base. In its next chapter, the site will serve as home to one of the nation’s largest revitalization projects.

Logo DECO
Logo Rockport Life. Lived better.
Logo text reads PEC Placemaking

MEET OUR TEAM

Tim Jones

CEO

Assaf Weisz

Chief Placemaking Officer

Catherine Urbanowicz

Director, People + Culture

Nicki Ramjass

Head, Site Operations

Johnathan Rooke

Manager, Production

Teresa Shephard-Benway

Acting Manager, Tenant Relations

Chris Tabo

Manager, Finance

Megan Lumgair

Manager, Programming + Event Services (on leave)

Liz Kohn

Vice President
Marketing + Communications

Christophe Doussot

Head, Visitor Services + Placemaking

Rob Clark

Director, Capital Projects

Alicia Brum

Director, Client Experience

Hadas Brajtman

Head, Food + Beverage

JOIN OUR TEAM

We are builders, social entrepreneurs, artists, nature lovers, amateur comedians, musicians, meditators, foodies, dog-lovers, multi-generational County-folk and relative newcomers.

Our team is fast-paced, light-hearted, highly collaborative, and building an incredible place from the ground up.

Please view our active job postings below.

AERODROME

Landing and Takeoff At Base31 Aerodrome

As a former air base, Base31 now operates as a private aerodrome. The aerodrome is available for three groups of users: members of the PEC Flying Club , The Department of National Defense Air Cadets Program and pilots operating private aircraft provided they receive prior permission to land.

Base31 does not operate any aircraft maintenance or have any refueling facilities.

Periodically, the private aerodrome is closed to flight activity for events that happen in or near the runways.

REQUEST PRIOR PERMISSION TO LAND

Pilots seeking to land at the Base31 aerodrome must seek prior permission to land by emailing aerodrome@base31.ca. A fee for landing and tie downs may be applied.

Prior permission to land will be granted between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Permission to land on weekends must be arranged in advance.

FUTURE PLANS FOR THE AERODROME LANDS

As part of our Neighbourhood Plan for the site, we have been listening to the community over the past 18 months and have heard very clearly that their priorities for the future development of the site are focused on three key areas: green space for recreational opportunities, affordable access to housing, and key services such as day care and health care.

As the new stewards of this land we are responsible for ensuring that the space is designed and shared in a way that delivers the greatest benefit and access to the larger community, and as such we will be repurposing the airport lands from its current use to serve these needs with a use that better fits the future plans

aerodome at Base31