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Community kitchen and performance space part of new 10 Carden plans

A look inside the renovations of the former Ackers Furniture building on Carden Street
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The new 10C building in downtown Guelph is hoping to have a community kitchen and performance space as part of its multi-layered purposes.

10 Carden (or more accurately 10C) is currently in the process of a complete $2.5 million renovation of the former Ackers Furniture building at 42 Carden St.

The 15,000 square-foot building is being turned into a shared co-worker space and community shared event hub that will house mostly 75 different non-profit and social change organizations.

The plan is to have some tenants move in by the end of the year with it being fully occupied by March 2017.

One of the more interesting elements of a public tour of the building Wednesday was the fourth floor, where 10 Carden co-founder Julia Grady said a commercial kitchen will hopefully be housed.

"It gives 10 Carden the opportunity to house events of between 150 to 200 people. There's not a lot of those types of places in Guelph, that are fully accessible," Grady told roughly 25 people who took the tour.

The community commercial kitchen would be used from everything from cooking classes, not for profits, renting out to catering companies and being used to host its own events with food.

"The kitchen could operate as a standalone business within 10 Carden," Grady said. "We're building in the infrastructure it will need."

The fourth floor has a capacity for 200 people, Grady said, meaning that a small performance stage at one end of the open room is also being discussed.

An elevator is being installed in the building and infrastructure such as HVAC and more plumbing (the entire four floors had a single toilet) is also being done.

Efforts are being made to save and re-purpose as much of the original materials as possible.

The decorative tin ceiling is being taken down in order to upgrade the fire code of the ceilings, but much of the tin will then be re-purposed.

The basement of the building is also going to be used for office space, bicycle parking and a rainwater collection system.

"We took possession April 15 and we've already made amazing progress," said 10C board member Lise Burcher.

The building was built around 1900 with additions following. Burcher said not much work — if any — was done on the building since around 1950.

"There wasn't much servicing done in the building, which in a weird way is a good scenario for us because there's not a tonne to rip out," Grady said.

There are also hopes of finding a purpose for the rooftop.

Wednesday's tour also included details on 10C's community bond issue fundraising effort, where individuals, organizations and corporations can invest as little as $1,000 on a 3 per cent return.

So far 10C has raised $665,000 of its $1 million fundraising goal.

More information on 10C can be found at www.10carden.ca.