You're not alone if you've noticed the look of the skyline has changed somewhat as you crest the overpass heading to West Ferris.
A Rogers telecommunications tower several years in the works has been installed and a construction crew from Forbes Bros will be working over the next two weeks to bring the tower online.
The multimedia conglomerate says the tower will not provide 5G coverage — yet.
"This site will provide improved 4G/LTE service to the community. As our network teams expand and evolve our 5G network, we’ll continue to update our coverage maps so our customers can see our network grow," is the official word from Rogers.
The 30.6-metre "shrouded monopole telecommunication tower" is located at the back portion of the lot, nearer to Lee Avenue, adjacent to the veterinary clinic and mini-putt at 6 Lakeshore Drive.
Rogers advises the tower will increase cellular coverage within the southern area of North Bay and will ensure "fast, dedicated and reliable wireless service within the area."
A report to North Bay Council from July reveals Rogers was forced to re-apply for a letter of concurrence from the City after experiencing some difficulties with the design of the foundation due to geotechnical soil analysis. The original application for the tower came in 2017.
The report notes a municipal council does not have the ability to approve or deny the application, as telecommunications are overseen by the federal government. Rogers indicated it "attempted to secure alternative sites within their search area and the subject property is the only viable location they have identified."
The report acknowledges the tower abuts residential use, commercial use and an open space park area despite the City of North Bay’s Development and/or Redevelopment of Telecommunication Towers/Antenna Facilities Policy, in effect since 2013.
The policy "generally encourages telecommunication towers to be located away from residential development, schools, park spaces, environmental constraints and areas that might obscure public views and vistas, whenever possible."
Despite the location of the tower not meeting the zoning criteria, the project received no objections from nearby residents or businesses during a public consultation process.
Staff in North Bay agreed the back placement of the tower "would be the most desirable on the subject property as it maximizes the tower’s distance from the abutting residential development and would minimize its visibility from Lakeshore Drive."