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Renovations underway at Grace Gardens, with summer opening planned (5 photos)

Front office of former Parkview Motel torn down, to be rebuilt

Partial demolition of the former Parkview Motel began this week, as the conversion effort picks up pace on its way to becoming a permanent supportive housing project known as Grace Gardens.

The front office area – the section closest to Woolwich Street – has been removed, with orange tarps put up over the side of the building facing Marilyn Drive.

“It’s so exciting. It’s been a long time, a lot of years dreaming of a project like this,” commented Gail Hoekstra, executive director of Stepping Stone, which bought the building last year with plans to convert it into 32 bachelor-style apartments to house people who would otherwise be homeless.

“It was really amazing to see steps are actually being taken to actually do the renovation,” she added of her visit to the site on Tuesday.

The former office area was torn down on Monday, she notes, explaining that was always part of the plan.

“The floors were really uneven,” Hoekstra said of why that part of the building was taken down. “There’s a tipping point where putting it down and rebuilding is simpler and more cost-effective than retrofitting.”

The motel featured 36 units, but four have been eliminated in order to allow for five fully accessible units, which need to be a little larger. The building’s overall footprint will remain the same as it was, Hoekstra said.

In addition to their individual units, future residents will have access to a variety of shared spaces, including a kitchen and areas for the planned 24/7 support services.

“We did have some residents and staff there prior to construction,” the executive director acknowledged. “Everybody is relocated to another location. … Residents are being supported.”

The hope, Hoekstra said, is that Grace Gardens will be ready to welcome residents this summer.


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Richard Vivian

About the Author: Richard Vivian

Richard Vivian is an award-winning journalist and longtime Guelph resident. He joined the GuelphToday team as assistant editor in 2020, largely covering municipal matters and general assignment duties
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