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Orimat is a not-for-profit corporation set up to represent its members who are property owners who gain access to their properties by using a private road system. It is managed by an elected Board of Directors who are volunteers charged with the responsibility of managing the road system. The Board spends many hours managing the maintenance and upgrading of the whole road system.
In 1988, a study to determine the feasibility of constructing a single-lane, private, seasonal-access road exiting from the Torpitt Road to the Severn River was undertaken. A branch road to the west side of Deep Bay was also included in this study. The clearing of the original right-of-way commenced in 1991 with a group of cottagers manning the chainsaws. The following year a contractor completed the building of this portion of the Orimat Road.
Over the next couple of years, there was a show of interest for an extension to this road system, to both the east and west. This new group of cottagers organized themselves and were known as the South Severn Road Association. The construction and completion of the extension occurred in 1996. The original and extension of the Orimat Road now ran from the Torpitt Road to the railway tracks located at Hydro Glen.
In 1998, a group of cottagers from the east side of Deep Bay and the west side of the Severn River (from the mouth of Deep Bay to Baldy Bay on the Severn River) organized to form the Severn Delta Road Cottage’s Association. They were interested in an extension of the existing private single-lane seasonal road to include their properties on the delta. In 2000, the extension was a reality and properties were accessible from the road system.
The only group left that was not on the road system were a group of property owners on the west side of the railway tracks at Hydro Glen. Construction of an extension would be more difficult as it had to be determined whether to go over or under the railway tracks. This obstacle was addressed with the road being continued under the tracks. In 2010, construction was completed to these cottagers.
This linked approx 165 land owners on approx 25 km of private single-lane seasonal road to their common passion, of being on the water, at their cottages or homes, eliminating the long-time need for water access to their properties. Over the years from its first opening of the road system, we have seen the road move from being closed at the first snowfall until the half load restriction came off in the spring. We now see a portion of the road system plowed throughout the winter, with a number of our members using these sections of the road system to access their homes and cottages year round.