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#1 2012-11-30 09:38:21

Registered: 2011-11-11
Posts: 127

Ontario St. Lot Development

I've noticed the large vacant lot, treed in with a hedge near the Arden Park Hotel (lot that used to have the boarding covered with kids' drawings of Shakespear's characters, used on those books) is being developed (finally).

Last I'd heard there was a dispute over ownership, which appears to have been resolved.  Any news on what's going in there?  No signs indicating anything.  I would have thought given the time that's been vacant (old furniture factory was there, no?) there would have been an announcement.

I moved to Stratford in 1999 and it was boarded up and vacant then.




#2 2012-11-30 13:52:33

Registered: 2008-02-06
Posts: 416

Re: Ontario St. Lot Development

One of the most high-profile vacant lots in Stratford will soon be home to a 25-room luxury hotel and restaurant.
Preliminary site work has already begun near the corner of Parkview Ave. and Ontario St., with earth-moving equipment levelling the ground of the sprawling former industrial property this week.
Developed by local bed-and-breakfast proprietor Jennifer Birmingham, the 4,800-square-metre project will include a two-storey, full-service hotel, complete with a pool, lounge and gym, as well as a fine-dining restaurant.
Birmingham said Thursday that The Bruce Hotel (named for Birmingham’s late father) will have a “country inn feel in an urban setting.”
The hotel, which will be just a few blocks away from the Stratford Festival, should be completed by next winter, she said, and will fill a need for more upscale accommodations in Stratford.
“We have some great mid- and lower-end accommodations, but we don’t have a full-service luxury hotel,” she said. “It’s an area that’s really been lacking for a long time now.”
By way of comparison, Birmingham noted that Niagara-on-the-Lake has more than 700 CAA four-diamond rated rooms catering to its visitors. Stratford has four.
With spacious, wheelchair accessible rooms, the hotel's footprint will take up a decent portion of the large lot, but it won’t be a “corner-to-corner” development, she said, adding that there will be plenty of green space surrounding the building. The existing hedges bordering the property will remain to preserve the privacy of the site.
“The property will have a very park-like feel,” said Birmingham. “I really wanted people to feel that it’s a bit of an oasis.”
The restaurant will actually be completed first, and is expected to be open in time for the Stratford Festival season next summer.
“We’ve put an emphasis on getting the restaurant open,” said Birmingham, who has enlisted Aaron Linley of Bijou fame as chef for the new establishment, and his wife Bronwyn as the food and beverage manager. “There's a real demand to get some fine dining out that way.”
A “soft opening” of the hotel is planned for next winter, with a formal launch just before the 2014 Stratford Festival season.
Birmingham said she's pleased to be able to bring a development to a site in the city that has sat vacant for more than a decade.
“I'm excited that I was able to stay in Stratford and do something that I think the city needs, and the Festival needs, and make my mark in the accommodation world,” she said.

You Can't Fix Stupid!



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