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  #121  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2015, 3:05 PM
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Via Horsell in our Community Thread. The restoration of the Stone Jug in Carbonear...



...is nearing completion:







Quote:
A spectacular piece of heritage renovation work is nearing completion in Carbonear, and by all accounts, could be open to the public in the not-too-distant future. VOCM's Linda Swain explains.

Bruce Branan, an American businessman, purchased the historic Stone Jug in Carbonear years ago, and since then has pumped millions of dollars into the building. Enhancements to the historic structure include rare, hardwood floors imported from Bali, and chandeliers purchased in Russia.

The ultimate goal is to open the building as a family restaurant, with the third floor dedicated to local theatre and arts projects. The original plan, according to town officials, was that the restaurant would be open last summer, but government is still waiting on a structural engineering report before an occupancy permit is issued. Those matters are reportedly nearing completion.

The Stone Jug, a landmark structure on the Carbonear waterfront, was built by well known local merchant, John Rorke, in the 1860s. It housed a mercantile business and served as the family residence until the 1970s. It is a registered provincial heritage structure.
http://www.vocm.com/newsarticle.asp?...54155&latest=1
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  #122  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2015, 9:48 PM
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Wow what a great restoration + renovation.
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  #123  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2015, 9:53 PM
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That's awesome, but financially -- pumping millions of dollars into something that small in Nfld? Let alone Nfld outside St. John's... I'm a bit skeptical to say the least.

Kudos to him. My hat's off to people like him.

I hope someday I'll be rich enough to be able to save heritage buildings even when the business case for them isn't viable at all.
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  #124  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2015, 9:58 PM
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Me too. The ongoing restoration work in Bonavista (which has more than 1,000 heritage buildings) is funded in large part by a wealthy American couple as well.

The Stone Jug will never make its money back, unless an entree is $10,000+ - but Carbonear's a mid-sized community by our standards (4,700) and not far from Harbour Grace (3,000; but definitely a popular stop for tourists) and Bay Roberts (10,900; basically a subdivision surrounding a big box store complex).

It'll probably be viable as a restaurant simply in terms of earning more than it costs to operate.
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  #125  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2015, 9:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire View Post
It would be nice to see more of them get repurposed in a way that preserves the grand open spaces... although I can appreciate that the list of possibilities is somewhat limited, especially when you consider the cost of renovation.
For a public library, I think it makes sense.

I've gone a couple times inside St. Matthew's to read while waiting for my gf doing errands on St John St and it strikes me as a great way to repurpose a church.

Most places with "useless" churches don't necessarily have a need for a grand concert hall but they probably have a public library of some sort. Move that to the decommissioned church, then repurpose the ex-library building which is likely a lot more flexible (any type of municipal offices / partition walls are likely to be fine in there).

I know it's easy to say, but before demolishing the church, I'd give it serious thought if I were in charge of a small town with a public library.
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  #126  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2015, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
It'll probably be viable as a restaurant simply in terms of earning more than it costs to operate.
Creating a restaurant that's consistently going to be operating in the black by a hair is not what I call a viable use of several millions of dollars.
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  #127  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2015, 10:28 PM
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Incredible restoration.
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  #128  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2015, 6:35 PM
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An old one but good one.

From the 70's posted on www.losttoronto.com


And now posted on www.losttoronto.com
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  #129  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2015, 5:37 AM
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Great!
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  #130  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2015, 4:40 PM
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The 50's - the 70's were an ugly time in T.O and I'm sure many other cities in N.A.
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  #131  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2015, 4:41 PM
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That's a beautiful restoration. It looks so pleasant and inviting in the more recent pic.
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  #132  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 4:20 PM
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Oh for the love of God... Update on the Stone Jug above.

Because the owner has poured millions more into the building than it was worth, it qualifies as new construction and must meet modern building codes. Those codes - especially as they relate to emergency exits from all floors, will remove the building's heritage designation.

He's had enough of fighting the bureaucracy and plans to board up the windows and walk away June 1.
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  #133  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 5:50 PM
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Oh wow. Please tell me you're kidding.

People like him are a God-sent rarity... and THAT is how you're rewarding him?!?!?

I hope he's rich enough to choose to raze the Stone Jug and keep the lot vacant forever while he walks away looking to other ventures somewhere else. That would be the most appropriate course of action at this point.
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  #134  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 5:59 PM
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Not kidding, sadly. But these sorts of things seem to be the norm here.

Ayreonaut said he has never encountered an experience as tedious and bureaucratic as his interactions with government here. Even simple things like being legally able to park outside the home he owns in St. John's. It took multiple visits to multiple places at all levels of government.
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  #135  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 6:35 PM
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Note to self: NEVER invest in Newfoundland.


FWIW, I now have a little portfolio of buildings in FL and after a few months I must say that several things are refreshingly simple (in terms of rules/regulations) compared to Quebec. In the long term, I'm not sure I won't want to move everything I own to "easier" jurisdictions.

I love St. John's and I actually did look at real estate over there in the past (that's single-handedly your work, BTW) and found it a bit too inaccessible/isolated at the time... but this is another big no no factor assuming you're not exaggerating.

On that topic, I personally think that places that don't really have to make an effort to seduce people not from there (like Newfoundland and Quebec) often tend to have heavier bureaucracy because they can more easily get away with it than places that are in super direct competition with their neighbors.
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  #136  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 6:39 PM
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Exaggerated a bit, yeah, in terms of - like anywhere else - most people just jump through the required hoops and it works. But I think it's fair to say we have more and more complicated hoops than normal or necessary.

Everything can be annoying though. Say owning a car. We have one DMV for the Avalon Peninsula. 270,000 people. It's located at the edge of Mount Pearl, not even in St. John's. You need to go there for your license and registration. But you also need private insurance. You can get caught in a Catch 22 with one wanting papers from the other and not willing to give you the papers you need to get them from the other. That's a mistake on their part. And then you need a parking pass from City Hall, a third stop, and they require your vehicle registration with your current address. It takes a couple days to sort out. Marty McFly has never been longer than 2 hours at the DMV. I've never been less than half a day. Oh, and the hours are 9-4, Mon-Fri, so you must take time off work.
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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Apr 27, 2015 at 6:55 PM.
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  #137  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 6:43 PM
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Maybe it's just another of your "more British" characteristics that you guys can use to give yourselves a distinct feeling/flavor compared to the mainland
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  #138  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 6:48 PM
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Actually, if you read the VOCM report on the matter, it sounds a bit like the developer may want to do his own thing without adhering to standard building code rules. It's not easy from the report to understand just what the problem is.
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  #139  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 6:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
Exaggerated a bit, yeah, in terms of - like anywhere else - most people just jump through the required hoops and it works. But I think it's fair to say we have more and more complicated hoops than normal or necessary.

Everything can be annoying though. Say owning a car. We have one DMV for the Avalon Peninsula. 270,000 people. It's located at the edge of Mount Pearl, not even in St. John's. You need to go there for your license and registration. But you also need private insurance. You can get caught in a Catch 22 with one wanting papers from the other and not willing to give you the papers you need to get them from the other. That's a mistake on their part. And then you need a parking pass from City Hall, a third stop, and they require your vehicle registration with your current address. It takes a couple days to sort out. Marty McFly has never been longer than 2 hours at the DMV. I've never been less than half a day.
I've never waited more than 10-15 minutes at a Service Ontario centre (our equivalent where we renew drivers licenses, health cards, get plate stickers, etc.). There's two in Kingston. Both in suburban locations, unfortunately (there used to one in the core but it closed because the owner was unwilling to renovate the building to suit the province's increased requirements) but are both very easy to get to by transit from the core.
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  #140  
Old Posted Apr 27, 2015, 6:57 PM
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Yeah Manitoba was awesome as well. And I could do everything at once at a single location.
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