It’s one of the last remaining symbols of Kingston’s industrial past. The “Queen City Oil Company Building” on North Street along the inner harbour is undergoing a major transformation, from industrial to residential.
What do the Smith and Robinson Building and the Woolen Mill have in common? Both were historic properties that were given a new lease on life, thanks to ABNA Investments. Next up, at least in Kingston, is the Queen City Oil Company Building.
Nate Doornekamp is the Properties Manager with ABNA.
“We do like challenges, and this is another challenge,” Doornekamp said.
Work to rebuild a heritage building in Kingston’s midtown that collapsed over Christmas ramps-up.
Stabilize, restore and develop — that’s what’s happening at 9 North Street along Kingston’s inner harbour. It’s another case of what was once old is becoming new again.
Doornekamp says the structure was not in good shape when they started the project.
“It’s a rebuild and a renovation,” Doornekamp said. “The building was failed and derelict and left abandoned. Other than the walls that were still standing, everything else is a rebuild and even the walls that did remain were starting to bulge and sag and they needed a lot of work to them.”
Built back in 1898, the 8,000-square-foot warehouse once stored coal oil as well as kerosene.
“It’s significant in the sense that there are relatively few industrial buildings that have survived, considering that we had great numbers of them especially around 1900,” said Jennifer McKendry, an architectural historian.
“And it’s significant because it tells us where people worked.”
Despite the pandemic, the work continues at the waterfront location and so do the challenges, according to Doornekamp.
“The bigger challenge would be the environmental,” Doornekamp said. “Because of the history of this area, the oil tanks and the previous use of the building as Queen City Oil, it’s been really difficult and the brown field has taken some of the sting out of it.
“It’s a contaminated site right now. It won’t be when we’re done but getting to that point has been quite difficult.”
When complete, the limestone building will be an upscale residential complex.
Owners of a heritage property in the village of Bath are recognized with an Ontario Trust Award
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