A huge thank you to Chief Shawn Armstrong, Chief Rob Davis, City Officials and all the hard working men and women who worked tirelessly to save what could be saved of the historical facades.
There are three buildings involved with the fire of April 6, 2007
1. The Gummer Building – Douglas (once known as the Brownlow Block
until 1920’s) is the one further down Douglas with And Venus Smiled on
the bottom level. Once operated by Harry Gummer, publisher of the
Guelph Herald. Also once housed the operators and switchboards of Bell
Telephone. Built late 1870’s.
2. Next door (south) 67-71 Wyndham – was the original Victoria Hotel
Block. Built 1859-60 – the oldest of the three.
3. 65 Wyndham – West End Bakery. Built in the late 1860’s as part of a
larger block. The southern portion of the block was demolished to build
the CIBC in 1968 so this is last remaining portion of that block. It
housed Stewarts Drug Store from 1891 until the West End Bakery moved
there a few years ago.
All in all, a lot of heritage in this little row…
It is a complicated situation with multiple owners and varying degrees of damage. The smaller facades have lost most of the structure behind and if they are to remain will need the steel ‘city hall’ supports right away to allow the demolition of the rear.
The Gummer is structurally damaged mostly on the top two floors but is a trickier condition as the building is larger, taller and clean-up will be more awkward. IP