|Pictured left to right: Skyline CFO Wayne Byrd, Skyline CAO Martin Castellan, Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge, Marty Williams, Executive Director of the Downtown Guelph Business Association, Skyline COO Roy Jason Ashdown, Skyline CEO Jason Castellan.|
Over 50 guests, including Mayor Karen Farbridge and Downtown Guelph Business Association Executive Director Marty Williams, attended 5 Douglas Street’s official ribbon cutting ceremony on September 30th in downtown Guelph, ON.
The private event opened with welcoming words from Roy Jason Ashdown, Chief Operating Officer of Skyline, as well as from Mr. Williams and Mayor Farbridge, both of whom commented favourably on 5 Douglas Street’s mixture of modernity and heritage, and deemed the building “the poster child” for redevelopment. “The building is a signature piece of what we want to see happening in downtown Guelph,” said Farbridge.
The ribbon was cut by Mayor Farbridge, Mr. Williams, Skyline Co-Founders Jason Castellan, Martin Castellan and Jason Ashdown, and Skyline CFO Wayne Byrd.
Other attendees included the building’s residential and commercial tenants, as well as Skyline staff and key local investors and business figureheads.
The Guelph-based real estate investment company is proud to call the building home; it moved its Head Office to the third floor in November 2012.
The Gummer building was purchased by the Skyline Group of Companies in 2000. The company also purchased the neighbouring Victoria and Stewart buildings in 2007 after all three (including the Gummer) were damaged in a fire that year. Since then, Skyline has worked on the site’s redevelopment, while preserving its beautiful stone facades and other historical features. The three buildings have been incorporated into a high-profile, fully accessible mixed-use complex and have been deemed a heritage site by the City of Guelph. In addition to the commercial space, the redeveloped building offers 18 sophisticated apartment suites on its top-level floors. Skyline officially moved its head office into the Gummer building in 2012.
The building was originally comprised of three landmarks known as the “Brownlow Block,” all circa 1870-75. Mr. Henry Gummer was one of the original owners of 1-7 Douglas Street, the original Gummer building. In 1916, Mr. Gummer moved his newspaper company, the Guelph Herald (now the Guelph Mercury) from its original Quebec Street location to this property. The building featured one of the two oldest manually operated elevators in Ontario. Also on the Brownlow Block were the Victoria Hotel and Stewart Building. The 2007 reconstruction saw all three buildings amalgamated into one.
This past June, Skyline Co-Founder and COO Roy Jason Ashdown proudly accepted the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario's Gordon Couling Heritage Award for Skyline's work on the building. The award was presented at the annual Guelph Chamber of Commerce Awards of Excellence Gala.
The Gummer Building also opened its doors to over 700 people during Doors Open Guelph in April--tours were given of the building's high-end residential suites and rooftop terrace, Skyline's office and boardroom, and the basement's fully-equipped gym.
After the ribbon cutting, guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and treats supplied by Buon Gusto and Wellington Cakes, both commercial tenants in the building.