Impressive hotel will soon be built into century-old grain silos in Ontario (RENDERINGS)
Collingwood, Ontario, is a major draw for Toronto tourists looking to escape the big city, but the resort town and tourist destination of today is a far cry from the shipping hub of the past, and you don’t have to look far around town to find the scars of deindustrialization.
As is the case with many Great Lakes ports, Collingwood is home to a set of massive, aging grain silos, a deteriorating relic of the past with an increasingly bright future.
On Monday, the public was treated to the first glimpse of a proposed revitalization of Collingwood’s iconic Grain Terminals, using the old concrete silos as a springboard for waterfront regeneration.
The March 27 meeting revealed details of a plan from Streetcar Developments Inc. and Dream Unlimited Corp. to redevelop the Terminals building as well as the surrounding lands along Heritage Drive, Millennium Park, and the spit they inhabit extending into Georgian Bay.
Plans call for the conversion of the 1929-built silos into a mixed-use development that retains its industrial aesthetic through facade preservation.
“We are excited to partner with the Town of Collingwood to implement a visionary plan for the Spit and to stabilize the iconic Terminal building so it can remain a Collingwood landmark for decades to come,” said Les Mallins, president of Streetcar Developments.
The silos would have new openings added to introduce natural light, while a new tower would be constructed at the east end of the existing structure, designed to reference the curves and materiality of the original silos.
Together, the silos and new tower would house a new destination on Collingwood’s waterfront, offering a full-service hotel, restaurant and event space, and a residential component.
“With our hotel, we become a fully aligned operating partner with the Town in perpetuity, ensuring the Spit remains an all-season attraction for the community and visitors alike,” said Mallins.
The retained silos themselves would house a hotel component with circular rooms following the curves of the former grain storage towers.
A tenth-floor space on the current “bin floor” atop the silos is planned as a publicly accessible feature offering elevated views of the town and Georgian Bay.
To the east, the new tower component would house residences, the likely cash cow in this redevelopment.
In addition to restoring the aging landmark and expanding it with new uses, the surrounding spit is set to get a full makeover, including a new park, performance amphitheatre, and a new lookout point extending into the bay.
It’s a revitalization plan that Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin says the “community has waited decades to see,” hailing the proposal’s plan to “revitalize the entire spit with improved access for boaters, cyclists, swimmers and anyone who wants to enjoy a day at the waterfront.”
Redevelopment plans will next undergo the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding, followed by the start of a public engagement process this summer.