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Restoration of Royal Hotel well under way

Restoration work at the back of Picton's Royal Hotel. - John Ferguson photo

Restoration work at the back of Picton’s Royal Hotel. – John Ferguson photo

Two years of restoration work is well under way for Picton’s historic Royal Hotel including 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.

The hotel was constructed circa 1881. It has been vacant for many years, resulting in significant deterioration. Character defining elements too severely deteriorated to repair are being replaced with new elements that match the forms, materials and detailing.

The rear of the building in this elevation drawing by Giannone Petricone Assocs.

The rear of the building in this elevation drawing by Giannone Petricone Assocs.

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  1. Marnie says:

    Dennis, you appear to have forgotten that the “County Brand” is the symbol for a pair of Fruit of the Loom knickers. That was a hot topic here some time ago.

  2. Emily says:

    The article reports that the rear wall will be replaced. I think a whole lot more than the rear wall had to go! It’s totally gutted.

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    I don’t believe anyone is reading what the other is saying. From the comments, NO ONE is opposed to the Royal being re-developed. In fact there is a lot of support for it. I don’t see nor read about the “divisiveness” mentioned in a previous comment – so what is that about? The only difference of opinion expressed was involving how much should the developer pay for permits, etc… For me, I expect any developer to pay their way and not to be subsidized by the taxpayer. As far as “wrapping ourselves in the “County Brand” – was someone suggested – what brand and by what definition are you talking about? A well developed community comes about due to differences of opinion being discussed – not by wrapping ourselves in a single thought.

  4. Dave Gray says:

    Royal Hotel,providing jobs now,plus jobs later,plus tax dollars,plus tourist dollars, so many pluses, go for it!
    P.E.C. help where you can.

  5. Marnie says:

    You liked it better the way it was Hildegarde?

  6. Hildagard says:

    Looks like they are doing a great job preserving the old heritage designated building! With only the front wall remaining intact, they might as well smash that down as well!! What’s the difference between tearing down the old church on Main St. and levelling the ground or smashing the old hotel and replacing it with a modern-upscale building that will have no resemblance of the old “Royal Hotel”!! Seems like money talks!!!

  7. John says:

    This a great economical dev project and will benefit a lot of folks… Can’t believe the divisivnees that goes on in the county about such projects…it’s time for all of us to wrap ourselves around the county brand and support it as a whole !
    Many other small Ontario towns have been stripped of their soul from big box stores and such
    We are lucky

  8. Marnie says:

    The municipality should be thanking its lucky stars that Mr. Sorbara has undertaken this huge project. The façade of an old Picton landmark will be saved and Main Street will be the big winner with a boutique hotel that any community would welcome with open arms. It’s not the time to nickel and dime the developer. Better to cut him a break should they choose to do so, than stare indefinitely at a derelict building in the middle of Main Street. The man is giving the town an incredible gift and it will probably take years for him to recover his initial investment. He does not have to get rich. He is rich so money would not seem to be his motive.

  9. Dennis Fox says:

    All too often government is accused of not running itself like a business – I never suggested that we milk anyone, but only that they pay the going rate and that the municipality should be making a few bucks as well – after all we too have invested a lot of money in infrastructure and in staff time.

  10. Chuck says:

    Well Dennis, if he is banking on making big money on the Royal project he must figure on living a long, long time! Do you not realize the unbelievable investment in this project and how fortunate the County is?

  11. Emily says:

    Anyone willing to undertake this mammoth project at extreme financial costs, I would expect would be treated more than fairly. You don’t try to milk a cow dry that is providing life!

  12. Dennis Fox says:

    Chuck, I guess you and I disagree on how to negotiate. Sorbara isn’t building in Picton because he is a nice guy – he is doing it to make money and lots of it. So if our municipality doesn’t value itself and demand a decent deal, then why should any developer give us one? Like any business we offer them good services like hydro supply, water, sewer, safe streets,etc..- our staff’s time and expertise. It is a joint venture of give and take – and believe me developers know how to take – it is our job to make sure the taxpayers aren’t footing the bill for them – and why not make a bit of profit to help alleviate the tax load?

  13. Chuck says:

    Hi Dennis. The County purchased the lot across from Benson Park on King to accomodate 50 parking spots. Contrary to your view I hope the County cut the Royal a break on development. Otherwise we had another main street parking lot, if the developers hadn’t come in. We are very lucky.

  14. Dennis Fox says:

    I too am looking forward to seeing the Royal back in all its grandeur – what a plus it will be for the County and for Picton. But I hope our Planning Dept. are on top of this development – meaning that we are collecting full value for the building fees and development charges and not succumbing to the Sorbara pressure. Plus where will the parking for the Royal be located? The demands for parking could be a problem – look at it downtown now – where will another, 30, 40, 50 cars a day be accommodated? The back lot is also used by a number of other businesses in town. Is there a plan for increasing the parking somewhere?

  15. Vincent says:

    To me, accurate “restoration” is not as important as beauty and function. It will have a ton of historic character, and be a huge boon to the local economy, I am grateful, excited and supportive. What an investment in Picton, and in tourism.

  16. Chuck says:

    Came in handy when the wife knocked on the door!

  17. ADJ says:

    I remember when one at least of the upstair rooms(ahem)had a fire escape. Well, sort of…it was a piece of 2″ rope you threw out the window! I kid you not.

  18. Janet says:

    What a huge improvement this will be! I really like the terraces! I hope they will be w/c accessible. Maybe the new and improved back of the Royal will encourage the other Main St. Businesses to improve their back entrances.

  19. Marnie says:

    Whatever the end result it will be a huge improvement over the derelict building that the Royal had become. The new owner apparently is trying to preserve some of the original character of the old hotel.

  20. Paul Cole says:

    I agree John the Royal will lose some of its character but it will be saved and I think it will look pretty good too. I hope

  21. John says:

    ‘Restoration’ is the act of returning something to a former owner, place or condition. None of those 3 things are happening here.

  22. Emily says:

    What an amazing expensive undertaking! Looks like 3 exterior walls will be saved and the rest is toast. I and many others may have been conceived where that crane bucket is! Lol

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