Canadian courthouse to get boutique hotel conversion

Canada: The former courthouse in Thunder Bay, Ontario, is to become a hotel.

The Camelot Street property has been bought by a Toronto developer who is intending to convert the building into a boutique hotel, according to city tourism manager Paul Pepe. An Infrastructure Ontario spokesman on Thursday confirmed the $500,000 sale was completed earlier this week.

Pepe said the history of the building would provide an experience different from existing hotels in Thunder Bay: “Consumers are often looking for something unique that has a story behind it, perhaps a bit more intimate in its setting. There’s a market for all kinds of accommodation options and certainly this is one that’s sort of exciting. Of course, the views of Lake Superior are pretty impressive as well.”

The courthouse opened its doors in 1924 and remained in operation until 2014, when a new consolidated Thunder Bay Courthouse was built. It was added to the city’s heritage register in 2009 and certain architectural features such as the exterior, main hallway and two-storey main courtroom are protected by a provincial heritage designation.

The addition of the hotel to the north downtown core serves as a further complement to the emerging culinary and entertainment scene, Pepe said: “We have to have people downtown after 5 pm for a successful core, for the downtown to succeed and survive and be sustainable. Having the restaurant options is great, having the walkability is great and now having more opportunities for people to stay downtown and walk to where they want to go, walk for a great meal and walk to Prince Arthur’s Landing all really helps with the growth of the neighbourhood and the city overall.”

“We’re excited any time an investor comes into Thunder Bay and has the confidence to put their money down on a property, especially a beautiful property like this,” Pepe said. “It creates jobs, it creates tax assessment and it creates new opportunities and choices for visitors who want to stay and want to experience something a little different.”

The developer is targeted a 2018 opening. It is unknown whether the hotel will operate independently or under a brand.

Be in the know.

Subscribe to our newsletter »