Feds chip in $306,000 to help restore Town Hall Theatre building in Port Perry


Published April 1, 2022 at 5:22 pm

The budget for the five-year Town Hall 1873 project in downtown Port Perry just got $306,000 richer after the federal government chipped in cash to help renovate, restore and re-shape the Town Hall Theatre building.

The money, from the Investing in Canada Program’s Community, Culture and Recreation Stream, brings the total government investment to more than $562,000 with Queen’s Park contributing $255,000.

The project will include the restoration of the historic bell tower, renovations to the main floor spaces and installation of a fully accessible freight and passenger elevator to all levels of the theatre. Work for this project has already started and will continue into 2027.

As the federal grant is a cost-share program a capital fundraising campaign will be put into place to cover the remaining expenses by the Town Hall 1873 committee.

Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew said she and her Council are “thrilled” to get started on the restoration of the Bell Tower and to reunite it back onto the building – restoring the original, historic structure and appearance.

The Bell Tower has been a landmark for Scugog since the building’s inception.

“We are very proud of our heritage buildings in the downtown of Port Perry,” Drew said. “We are grateful to the Board of Directors for their work pursuing funding and thankful to the provincial and federal governments for recognizing the importance of preservation and restoration of key heritage landmarks.”

Other projects include refurbishing the marquee for greater visibility, upgrading the audio equipment, renovating the kitchen to meet additional catering and rental opportunities, redesigning the green room for greater performer access and improving the Patrons’ Lounge to increase rental opportunities. Interior renovations will be completed over the next three to four years.

The final, major project will take place between 2026 and 2027 with a complete redesign of the current lift. A fully accessible multi-purpose elevator giving access to all levels of the building, including stage level, will be constructed.

The completed project will improve existing infrastructure by creating a fully accessible building for patrons and performers alike to allow the Town Hall Theatre to become a recognized destination performing arts venue.

“As one of the industries that has faced many obstacles over the past few years, we are thrilled to see the hard work of our theatre funding committee come to fruition.” said interim chair of Town Hall 1873 Dale St. John. “We acknowledge the generosity of the Federal and Provincial Governments for their approval of this exciting project and to the Township of Scugog for their unwavering support. Many improvements to Town Hall 1873 will now be realized, including the long-awaited restoration of the Historic Bell Tower. We look forward to coming together with the community of Scugog to see this multi-phase project completed.”

Liberal MP Ryan Turnbull (Whitby), speaking on behalf of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Dominic LeBlanc, said he was happy to help fund the renovations. “For over 100 years, this landmark has been at the heart of the community and accessibility improvements will help remove barriers, allowing more residents to enjoy this beautiful historical venue.”

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