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Published on Friday, April 7, 2017

Erchless coach house gets new purpose in town life

Oakville Museum’s Coach House to be used for cultural programs, exhibits and events

Erchless coach house gets new purpose in town life
Erchless estate coach house
Formerly used as storage, and stables before that, heritage structure has new life for town
By Nathan Howes, Oakville Beaver
Originally serving as a horse stable and residence 180 years ago, Oakville Museum’s Coach House, used for storage space in recent decades, will be converted into a multi-use space.

In 2016, the Town hired a consultant to review all existing reports related to the building, determine possible new uses and consult with the community to determine a preferred use.

On Monday, April 3, Council approved the staff recommendation to redesign the heritage building for cultural programs, exhibits and events.

The preferred refurbishing includes converting the main space of the building into a multi-purpose space for museum-led exhibits, programming and cultural events, as well as community uses such as meetings and weddings.

There will also be space for an artist-in-residence program, a small outdoor performance venue and space to accommodate food and beverage service for special events and performances.

“Creating vibrant cultural spaces is part of our vision to make Oakville’s downtown a social, economic and cultural hub,” said Mayor Rob Burton, in a media release. “We’re very excited to transform this architectural gem into a welcoming cultural space that residents and community groups will be able to use for years to come.”

The Coach House is a 180-year-old heritage building that was used as a horse stable and residence for the estate’s gardener.

In the early 1990s, the Town opened Erchless Estate as a museum and retrofitted the Coach House to provide collection storage space.

Because the museum now uses storage facilities at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, the Coach House’s function was changed to use it more efficiently.

The estimated cost to redevelop the building is between $1.43 million and $1.68 million, however, staff will be applying for a grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF), which could cover up to 50 per cent of the cost.

Staff will begin planning the redevelopment of the Coach House immediately and renovation work is expected to begin in early 2018.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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