Restoring Smiths Falls’ historic Rideau Hotel will be more of a “labour of love” than a solid financial investment, its new owner told town councillors Monday, Dec. 12.
Andrew Cinnamon of Park View homes has purchased the Beckwith Street landmark, built in 1901, and plans to renovate the building into 25 new apartments. The ground floor facing Beckwith Street will also be home to two commercial offices, one being the local headquarters of Park View Real Estate.
Cinnamon, who attended the Dec. 12 meeting of Smiths Falls council’s Committee of the Whole accompanied by his brother Tim and project architect Alain Dagenais, outlined his plans for the building and sought the blessing for his plans.
The project will require a large investment of cash, but Cinnamon, whose company has built over 100 new homes in town, said it will be an opportunity to “give something back to the community.”
The Rideau Hotel is a designated heritage building, and some councillors expressed their thanks to the developer for buying it and saving it from eventual demolition.
Cinnamon said he plans to restore the hotel’s original balconies, which can be seen in old photos. “We want to maintain that look,” he said.
The developers hope to attract seniors and professionals to their building, and plan to begin work as soon as possible. The units in the building will be rental apartments rather than condominiums.
“I think a lot of us have been concerned about what was going to happen to it,” said Councillor Chris Cummings, thanking Cinnamon for saving the hotel from demolition. “It is a heritage building in a prominent place in the community.”