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Elora Mill Restoration Underway
October 23, 2015

All Photos copyright ©Bob Hill
Read these Other Articles on the Elora Mill Project:
Elora Mill Revitalisation, June 11, 2013
Elora Mill Revitalization and Condominiums, October 12, 2013
Elora Mill Condominiums and Revisions, January 31, 2014
Elora Mill Condos and Restoration, August 13, 2014

Because the restoration of the Elora Mill is so important to businesses in the area, the first phase of Pearle Hospitality's (formerly Landmark) development will be to deal with the Elora Mill restoration. Construction activity over the winter will be on the Elora Mill buildings only.

The construction of the new pedestrian bridge will occur toward the end of the restoration work on the Elora Mill buildings. The company is also working with Centre Wellington Township to get a design advanced for the Victoria Street bridge replacement. At this point, the company also needs to take some action to stabilize the Walser building ruin, which is deteriorating quickly. This restoration should take place as the bridge is being built.

Renovations Begin at Elora Mill

Commercial spaces and the wedding chapel are still a part of the overall plan. The remnants of the Walser building is where the wedding chapel is expected to be built.

The hydro project is commencing shortly and will take about a year to complete.

Elora Mill Renovations Underway

One of the aspects of the new development is to maintain the historic integrity of the area and Pearle Hospitality has worked tirelessly to accomodate heritage concerns. Three historic buildings have remnants on the site - the Walser building, the Little Folks administrative building and the Kiddie Car factory. The company hopes to have heritage issues resolved before the end of the year for north and south of the river.

The company has complied with Grand River Conservation Authority's policy about building restoration and additions within a flood plain.

A date for the reopening of the Mill won't be known until building permits have been issued.

Gutting of the Old Elora Mill

The final design for the condominiums is with the architects but Pearle is planning to submit a site plan in the New Year so many of these details will be resolved at that time.

The company hopes that the project start for the condominiums will occur sometime in 2017 but no occupancy dates are known at this time.

New buildings on the site are expected to draw their inspiration from the history of the site, which includes stone mill buildings in a simple industrial Georgian vernacular style.

Elora Mill on the Grand River

The Elora Mill waterfront development is expected to transform Elora into a first class international village. The Elora Mill has always attracted visitors to Elora because it is one of the few early Ontario five-storey grist mills still in existence.

Pearle's Proposed Elora Mill Redevelopment

Above is an illustration of how the Pearle Hospitality revitalisation project is expected to shape the riverfront in Elora, showing a rebuilt Victoria Street bridge that will connect Mill Street to a newly created public square in front of the old Walser Building. The drawing also shows another pedestrian bridge leading directly into the Elora Mill.

Bridge Into Elora and Remnants of the Victoria St. Walking Bridge

The bridge will link Mill Street West to Victoria Street on the south side of the Grand River, creating pedestrian access between new commercial developments south of the river and downtown Elora. A new glassed-in walkway is also to be created connecting the new innís lobby on the south side of the river, with the Elora Mill Inn and its outbuildings on the north side. The walkway is expected to follow the curvature of the Drimmie Dam and lead to the second floor of the Elora Mill. Pearle Hospitality is also planning to build a public walkway along the riverbank that will connect to other trails in the area.

Remnants of the Old Bridge Linking Victoria Street to Mill Street

Earlier in 2014 Pearle Hospitality began rethinking the location of some of the proposed condominiums because not all of the condos had a view of the river or green space. They were also thinking about incorporating a parking area for bus tours in the site plan, which will be located on the west side of County Road 7 north of the water treatment plant on land that they also own.

Commercial space in the new development will be owned and managed by Pearle Hospitality and will specifically target boutique style retail. They would like to target some space for artisans and may offer below market rental space to attract artists. Some office space will also be available for lease. In the green space that will be located in a section of the current parking area bordering the river beside the old Walser building, they are planning a music venue so that musical acts can perform there. This area will also be made available for community groups such as the Elora Festival Singers.

Pearle Hospitality (formerly the Landmark Group) bought the Old Elora Mill in December 2010, but closed it at that time because it was in a state of general disrepair. Landmark felt that the limited number of rooms and the limited parking didnít make it financially viable, which is why they decided to expand their development across the river.

Elora Mill On the Grand River

The New Elora Mill Condominiums will be located at the top right
of this photo opposite the Tooth of Time

Fireplaces Inside Elora Mill

The Old Dining Area inside Elora Mill

Remnants of the Little Folks Toy Company Sign and Buildings

Remnants of the Old Bridge Linking Victoria Street on One Side of the River to Mill Street on the Other

Bridge Into Elora From Little Folks Property

For any information on Elora, Fergus, Guelph or the surrounding area, call or text me at 519-400-5301 or email me at