Kitchener-Waterloo

A look inside Kitchener's old Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 50

The old Kitchener Legion building at 48 Ontario Street North could be the city's next arts hub according to a report that will be presented to the Planning and Strategic Initiatives Committee on May 30.

The building, which was built in the early 1900s, has been vacant for the past 15 years

The building at 48 Ontario Street North stands out in Kitchener, due to its red brick exterior. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)

The old Kitchener Legion building at 48 Ontario Street North could be the city's next arts hub according to a report that will be presented to the Planning and Strategic Initiatives Committee on May 30.

"We are kind of using arts hub as a placeholder term at this time," said Silvia Di Donato, manager of arts, culture and economic development. "That's part of the community engagement too, to explore what that might mean."

In addition to asking individuals in the arts community to help define the term arts hub, staff will be seeking comment on three options for the building.

  • Sell the property and use the proceeds to create an arts hub at an alternate location.
  • Lease the property for use primarily as an arts hub.
  • Sell the property, then lease a portion of the building for use as an arts hub.

The building has been owned by the city since 2001 and has been vacant since that time. Few people other than city workers have been allowed inside, but Di Donato guided a small tour of journalists through the facility on Friday.

Once inside, a notice board displays the names of past members. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)
The building's slate staircase is historically significant, and shows signs of wear from many years of use. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)
A printed sign on the door to the main hall reminds Legion members to remove headgear. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)
Inside the hall, a second sign reminds evening revellers to behave on the dance floor. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)
This storage room lies behind the main hall, with plenty of space for food and drink. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)
One cupboard makes it clear where the liquor, beer and "beer w/ pop" belong. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)

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