The boathouse reboot takes another step forward

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dated: 2022-11-20 16:47:02 .

View of the proposed renovations to the Victoria Park Boathouse.View of the proposed renovations to the Victoria Park Boathouse.

KITCHENER — The city’s Heritage Committee has given its blessing to the proposed renovation of the Victoria Park Boathouse.

Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a community heritage permit that allows for many of the changes envisioned to relaunch the building as a restaurant and music venue.

You’re reading: Boathouse reboot takes another step forward

The unanimous decision allows approval to proceed under delegated approval authority, meaning the permitting utility does not have to go ahead of council.

Renovation plans accept an addition that houses new bathrooms, a brand new deck that can be overhanging the lake, and adjustments to some home windows and doors.

Accessibility drives most of the adaptations, Matt Bolen of Edge Architects mentioned, with changes to create an interior step and add an entrance ramp.

“One factor we’ve actually tried to do is actually be delicate to that current character of the area,” Bolen added.

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Built in 1929 but extensively remodeled after a fire in 1967, the city-owned boathouse is part of the Victoria Park Space Heritage Conservation District. A metropolitan staff report concludes that the proposed renovation will not adversely affect the park or heritage conservation area.

Walkinshaw Holdings Inc the most popular candidate of the metropolis to restart the vacant site, hopes to reopen the boathouse next year.

“It’s an amazing mission,” said Heritage Kitchener member Peter Ciuciura. “It’s actually fantastic to see. This construction has a historical past…resurrected in another type for another period.”

However, Ciuciura and fellow board member Jean Haalboom had questions about adding a bathroom on purpose for the east side of the development.

“It seems to me quite a contemporary addition to this older structure,” Haalboom mentioned.

Bolen acknowledged its modernity, but mentioned that the reduced profile allows it to slide under the current roofline. The use of a bathroom accessory and a few mechanical tools allows the ceiling to be significantly reduced.

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Ciuciura asked if there was one thing that could be done very well to strengthen the addition and improve the “sense of visibility” on that aspect of the boathouse.

“The three heights of the building are thus open to the general public,” he mentioned. “The fourth floor, where the additional bathroom is located, is completely clean.”

Bolen mentioned that he will consider suggestions, including discussions of what could very easily be accomplished, from the type of cladding used to the addition of public art.

Approval is subject to a number of conditions, along with the approval of a Heritage Impact Assessment by the Director of Planning.

The city’s heritage planner would additionally have to approve things like closure signs and a lighting plan, plans for a memorial plaque, supplies for use in restoration work and permission to close.

The boathouse reboot takes another step forward

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