Collingwood Heritage Building To Get New Lease On Life

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX four seasons realty limited

I was so excited after reading a news release about the old Tremont Hotel building in downtown Collingwood, Ontario, that it was hard to get to sleep.

As I mentioned in another post on the subject,  the Tremont building has sat neglected and abandoned since the town purchased it several years ago with the intention of tearing it down for parking.  Since the building is located in the Heritage District and is considered to be an exceptional heritage asset, it would have been a horrible shame.  Thankfully, the current council stopped to reconsider that decision and ultimately put out a request for proposals to the public.

Recently, Collingwood council accepted a proposal from local residents, Richard and Anke Lex.  Rick is a developer and also the current president of the local chapter of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario  and a noted heritage proponent within the community.   Anke is an artist specializing in gorgeous maiolica pottery.  The combination of their skills are a perfect fit for a plan that is an exciting model of combined heritage preservation and environmental sustainability.

According to the media release, "The project involves the preservation, restoration and revitalization of an important designated building in the Collingwood Heritage Conservation District and its adaptive reuse to provide commercial opportunities and live/work space for the creative sector.  The building will incorporate sustainable and environmental measures along with heritage preservation.  Some of the green energy components that the building will feature include solar PV and solar thermal as well as grey water recycling and heat recovery."  I think the concept of live/work units is a fantastic approach that is sure to garner significant interest.

For the town, this plan may also solve the other problem residents have expressed about the lack of parking for the new library being built next door.  The Lex's have confirmed that their plan allows the Town of Collingwood to retain over three quarters of the property for parking.  The Lex's state that work is to commence this summer and that it will include restoration of the building's 1889 façade. 

This is a wonderful example of an adaptive reuse of a heritage building that will have new life in a sustainable fashion.  Instead of becoming landfill, this landmark building is now destined toill become a jewel in the downtown core.

Comments (3)

Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Marg - The name Tremont Hotel brings back a host of memories. When Barrie and I lived in Markham (back in the 70's) there was an old frame building that once housed "The Tremont Hotel". It to had sat neglected. When it was revitalized we were one of the first tenants in with our bath a gift boutique the "Elizabethan House". Unfortunately it once again sits vacant and is being sadly neglected.

Jul 20, 2009 01:37 PM
Marg Scheben
RE/MAX four seasons realty limited - Collingwood, ON
Edey - Collingwood, Ontario

That is amazing Kathy and there is some real irony in that story.  Let's hope the Markhan Tremont finds a new lease on life.  Are there any efforts being made in that direction?

We're very excited about the project here and work has already commenced.

Jul 20, 2009 02:05 PM
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Hi Marg,

I love history and I love good news stories.  That is so wonderful to hear that a piece of history isn't going the way of the wrecking ball.  You will have to post a before and after photo.

Jul 25, 2009 04:37 PM