Guelph exploring all options for vacant 155-year-old drill hall

The Guelph drill hall has sat empty since 2006. City of Guelph / Twitter

The City of Guelph says it is exploring all options on what to do with its 155-year-old vacant drill hall in the downtown core that has sat empty since 2006.

They’re looking for community groups, non-profits, and public organizations or even developers and businesses interested in revitalizing the 2.5-storey building at the corner of Farquhar and Wyndham streets.

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The city said it is working with RSM Canada to identify candidates.

This includes launching an online survey until July 2 for interested community groups, non-profits and public organizations.

After the survey closes, six finalists will be selected based on financial viability, community impact and overall feasibility of their concept.

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At the same time, RSM Canada is completing a study to gauge the interest of the private sector in a potential redevelopment.

City staff will then present a report with recommendations to council by October.

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The city said any recommendations will balance the respect for the cultural heritage of the building with community benefit and financial impacts.

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The heavy timber frame building was built in 1866 and has been used as a community hall along with a venue for military drills and agricultural shows.

The drill hall is also protected under the Ontario Heritage Act and the city is currently spending $2 million to stabilize the building.

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