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Restorations breathe new life into Picton, Ont.’s historic Royal Hotel

Click to play video: 'Picton’s historic Royal Hotel officially opens after a massive restoration' Picton’s historic Royal Hotel officially opens after a massive restoration
WATCH: Massive restoration breathes new life into Picton's historic Royal Hotel – May 16, 2022

Picton, Ont.’s historic Royal Hotel is back in business.

After a soft launch late last year, the Main Street landmark was officially opened Monday afternoon.

The Royal Hotel was once considered the jewel of the county. Now, its lustre is back and and shining brighter than ever following a massive restoration project started after an historic Picton church was demolished.

“I was walking by the Royal and I thought we can’t let that happen to the Royal Hotel”  said the hotel’s co-owner Greg Sorbara.

“It’s kind of iconic in the history of the county and I thought somebody has got to redevelop it and I quickly realized that that someone was probably me,” he said.

The hotel was built back in 1879 to coincide with the arrival of the railway.

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The hotel fell into disrepair a little over a century later. The Sorbara family bought the property in 2013.

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The “new” Royal Hotel features 28 guest rooms as well five more guest suites.

There is a restaurant, cafe and bakery along with numerous bars and a pool on site.

Pina Petricone, architect for the project, says the biggest challenge from a design standpoint is preserving the history of the building.

“It’s really to try to not erase this building’s history and it’s a very sorted history which we love but yet bring it into a very contemporary occupation and use,” she said.

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Mayor of Prince Edward County Steve Ferguson says the preservation of the Royal Hotel is vitally important to the county’s economy and the residents

“It’s certainly  provided employment to dozens of people and it’s also become something of a beacon for those interested in Prince Edward County or perhaps have not come down here,” he said.

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“If they [visitors] come to see the Royal it’s our hope that they’ll come to see other areas of Prince Edward County as well,” Ferguson added.

Sorbara says there’s currently magic abounding in the county which he hopes will bode well for the future of the Royal.

 

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