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Council supports heritage permit for Picton’s Royal Hotel



Elevation drawings by Giannone Petricone Assocs.

UPDATE: The application passed unanimously. Mayor Robert Quaiff called a special council meeting for Tuesday, Aug 4th for final approval. They will start as soon as possible and it is expected to take about two years.

A special meeting of council’s  Committee of the Whole today will consider a Major Heritage Permit for Site Plan Application for The Royal Hotel, 247 Picton Main Street.

“Planning Services sees the rehabilitation of the Royal Hotel as a significant contributor to the downtown core of Picton, preserving a building with substantial cultural heritage value,” the report stated. “The redevelopment of the vacant building back to a hotel, restaurant and bar adds new amenities for visitors and locals.”

The hotel was purchased in 2013 by Greg Sorbara, former Ontario finance minister, who owns property in the County.

Council will receive a report of the Engineering Development and Works Department and one from the Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee recommending the plan and design of the Royal Hotel be approved.

The Royal Hotel is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and is located within the Picton Heritage Conservation District.  Current plans do not include the retention of the interior staircase. The building has been vacant for many years, resulting in significant deterioration. Other character-defining elements too severely deteriorated to repair, are being replaced with new elements that match the forms, materials and detailing.

new-Royal-HotelRestoration work is proposed for the brickwork, wood cornice and installation of new windows. Proposed new works for the building include the replacement of the first floor storefront, a new rear wall where the portion of the existing is proposed to be removed for construction, new window openings at the rear of the building, infilling of select windows on the east and west walls and new doors and door systems on the ground floor of the west elevation.

In planning staff’s review of the proposed new works it was stated the proposed sign canopy between the first and second floors is a creative nod to the balcony that once was part of the hotel.

Council is also to give consideration to the doorway and fenestration (windows) on the first floor façade facing Picton Main Street.

The Royal Hotel was constructed circa 1881 and is attributed to Johnathan Mottashed, hotel keeper and proprietor of the nearby North American Hotel. In May 1883 it was leased to John Soby who later purchased the property. Archival records identify later owners and dates of purchase as: Bernard Hepburn (1910/1911); Eugene Healy (1921) and the Royal Hotel Ltd (1951).



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  1. Steve says:

    Sounds exciting a bit of new on the footprint of the old.
    Gee would sure like a copy of the 1930 advert.

  2. Rob Eley says:

    Certainly a better result than the LCBO!
    An abomination of formulaic retail design!

  3. Gilbert says:

    Glad to see everyone’s on the same page for this project, including councillors, who approved it unanimously.

  4. Marnie says:

    Picton does need some work. Rescuing the Royal is a great step forward.

  5. Susan Rose says:

    I can’t wait! Finally something nice to add to downtown. Some nice new places have opened up, let’s keep the ball rolling! Positive thinking would be sooo refreshing!!

  6. Susan says:

    They need to keep the heritage folks on a short leash so they are not dictating every little item such as window changes and paint colours. Let the investor save the building and do his thing.

  7. Hildagard says:

    Really–“Picton needs a lot of work to make it attractive”!! What an insult!! If you don’t like Picton–find another town!!

  8. Kathryn says:

    Yes Marie…very good point!!! Most of all let’s get moving on it!! A waste just sitting there! Strike while the iron is hot!!

  9. John Walkerc says:

    This is great and good for Picton … Let’s not slow it down anymore and ” just do it “

  10. Christine Giavarini says:

    Please let’s get it going ……..looks terrific….Picton is a great place but needs lots of work to make it attractive and more inviting. The capital of the county!

  11. Chuck says:

    Yes just stamp it quickly and move on. And thank our lucky stars that someone is taking this huge task and costs on. No time for any type of roadblocks.

  12. Argyle says:

    Hey council, lets not screw this up……….time to make this site viable again…..approval should just be a formality !!!!!

  13. Heather says:

    It would be really nice to see it turned into something nice instead of it just sitting there empty

  14. Maurene says:

    Please make it so. I’m tired of seeing this grand old dame standing empty and deteriorating rapidly. GET ON WITH IT!!

  15. Marie says:

    Council could trade political favors for a moratorium on un-built wind projects, given Sorbara worked with McGuinty on these

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