Award – 28 Huron Street

A significant piece of Collingwood’s built heritage came close to being lost forever before it caught the eye of a developer with a knack for reclaiming history. Once home to the Queen’s Hotel and reputed to be the town’s first brick commercial structure, the building at 28 Huron Street was slated for demolition when it was purchased in 2003 by the FRAM Building Group/Slokker Canada, now known as FS Collingwood Development Ltd.

The developers not only rescued the 143-year-old building from imminent destruction, they made a major investment in bringing it back to life. Their efforts, which included painstaking restoration of the façade and a complete overhaul of the interior, netted them a Heritage Award from the town of Collingwood. The award, recognizing the outstanding commercial restoration, was presented February 21, 2005 during the province’s Heritage Week celebrations.

”It’s wonderful to be recognized for hard work and also a beautiful quality restoration project,” said Parsons, who accepted the award on behalf of the developers.

The exterior restoration included the installation of new storefronts and the creation of a handsome new sign frieze in the tradition of the 19th-century Collingwood shops.

The new owners also replaced the windows on the second and third floors with special-order reproductions of the original arched style and took care to properly clean the soft old brick, re-pointing where necessary.

“The brick had to be cleaned and the paint on the quoins removed,” said Parsons. “It was quite an extensive process to find someone who could do it in keeping with the heritage character of the building.

“It’s pretty extraordinary to bring it back to life the way it originally looked,” said Parsons. “We did everything –whatever it took – to do it properly, even if we had to source different contractors who had experience in restoration.”

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