Filling the mill: Rejuvenation on the way in Elora
Published Friday, March 14, 2014 5:22PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, March 14, 2014 6:38PM EDT
Change is on the way for an Elora landmark that has sat vacant for more than three years.
For decades, the Elora Mill was a powerful and prominent grist mill.
More recently it housed the Elora Mill Inn – a popular restaurant, banquet hall and venue for weddings.
But its last incarnation is nothing compared to what’s in store for the mill when it reopens under new ownership, officials say.
“That whole development is going to be such a gain for us,” Centre Wellington Township Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj tells CTV News.
In late 2010, the mill was purchased by The Landmark Group – a developer responsible for similar projects at old mill sites in Cambridge, Ancaster and elsewhere.
After years of planning, renovations are expected to begin this spring.
And it’s not just the mill in Landmark’s sights.
An old industrial brownfield on the opposite side of the river is also part of the project. Landmark plans to turn that site into a complex featuring a conference centre, wedding chapel, hotel and other amenities.
“They talk about bringing people here for weddings and receptions and things of that sort – it’s a beautiful, beautiful setting for that,” says Ross-Zuj.
A covered bridge will be built to connect the two sites.
In total, the project is expected to create about 250 jobs. Officials hope there will also be spin-off benefits as the setting draws weddings and other events to the village.
“They don’t come and just hole up in their hotel room,” says Fred Gordon, administrator of the Elora BIA.
“They shop in the town, they go in our restaurants. They’re contributing to our economy. Everyone wins.”
Also present in the old toy factory on the other side of the Grand will be condos – but not big towers.
Although site plan applications haven’t been filed, it’s believed the condos will only be three or four storeys high.
The first portion of the project is expected to open in 2015.