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- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor
Spurred by Tess Kalinowski's front-page story in the Toronto Star before Christmas, interest is high in our former Grey County Courthouse. But the 1854 building is not your only chance to build your business in an Owen Sound heritage building.

What is now the Coach Inn at 2nd Avenue and 10th Street was once the Seldon House. According to the City's Corkscrew City tour, it was "built in 1887 as a hotel with 44 rooms, three parlours, a bar, dining room and sample rooms. The daughters of Mary Doyle, a founder of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), operated the business as a temperance hotel from 1904 to 1937."

The building has since had many interior conversions, particularly in the rooms above, and of course it has held a liquor licence for many years now. It is currently listed for sale at an asking price of $1.95 million.

The former St. Thomas Anglican Church on 4th Avenue West has been deconsecrated and is for sale since its stthomascongregation joined its sister parish of St. George's last year.
Built in 1926, with additions in 1950 and 2000, the building has seen every part of community life of generations of Owen Sounders, from Scouts to Sunday School, fish frys to funerals. What will it host next?

 

If you don't need to own it but you want to have your business in a building oozing Owen Sound history, consider the former bus terminal on 2nd Avenue East. According to Canada's Historic Places registry, busstopplaque"Built in 1945 by local builder M. Nicol, the former Owen Sound Bus Terminal was constructed by the Western Ontario Motorways Coach Company, which later became Gray Coach Lines, as its terminal in Owen Sound. It is a good example of the Art Moderne architectural style."

 

Or a store that had run for over a century? When it closed in 2015 Legates Furniture stood on the site of one of the first buildings in Owen Sound. According to Grey Roots, "The store building was built in 1906 by William Legate. It originally housed a Farmer's Bank, a feed and flower (flour?) store, and a grocery store.

In 1914, Mr. Legate converted the main floor into a furniture store, at the suggestion of William Goldblatt. There were apartments above the bank and stores, that eventually were converted into use by the furniture business. Eventually all three floors of the building were furniture display areas."

The building was sold last year to an out of town buyer, and each of its three levels is for lease by the square foot at a standard downtown rate.

Coach Inn photo by Richard MacDonald with his generous permission


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