/A new chapter for the Mill Pond
The “after” photo of the Mill Pond Restaurant after the renovations by ACM Designs Inc. /photo by Eleanor Dobbins

A new chapter for the Mill Pond

By Emily Stonehouse

If you haven’t visited the Mill Pond in Carnarvon recently, you may want to make the trip. 

The Algonquin Highlands staple has received a new facelift, courtesy of the recent ACM Designs restaurant makeover contest, launched in the early spring. The contest was conducted in the form of a community vote, and with over 9000 votes overall, the Mill Pond won the grand prize, beating out Truss Foodworks and Maple Avenue. 

 “We’ve heard so much great feedback about how the restaurant is looking,” said Sophie Creelman, the marketing coordinator for ACM Designs Inc, “we’ve had a lot of positive support.” 

The Mill Pond has not seen a substantial renovation in over 30 years, which Creelman said made the renovations both exciting, and occasionally challenging. “There were some challenges that you just don’t really know about until you’re faced with them,” she said, “but that’s why it’s great that we had so many partners in the project. We were able to just reach out when anything came up.” 

The overall cost of the renovation was just over $100,000, with all materials, time, and supplies provided by local partners. “It was very helpful that this was a collaboration,” noted Creelman, sharing that all components of the project could not have been completed without support from the partners. 

This was the second community-base project ACM has launched, with the first being the Lobby Makeover in 2020, which was won by Bonnie View Inn, and prompted their desire to continue renovations throughout the accommodation. 

Creelman shared that the best part of a project of this caliber is taking those sought after “before and after” photos. “It’s exhausting but really so rewarding to see,” she told the Times

When asked about what’s next, Creelman, she said that ACM is open to ideas. “We have a few ideas,” she said, “but because this is all about the community, we want to understand what the needs are here.” Creelman encouraged local residents to reach out to ACM with their thoughts before they launch their next big contest.