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Paisley Inn to be celebrated today prior to demolition

A ceremony to honour the Paisley Inn will be held Monday as the town prepares to say goodbye to the historic building.

The Inn is being torn down to make way for the construction of commercial and residential units at the space. Local businesses are helping to celebrate the Inn, including Wendy Liddle of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. She says the Inn was built by one of the co-founders of Paisley, originally calling it the Rose Tavern, and it served many functions over the years.

“It was just a small log building but it was also the church, the voting officer, the store and the hotel for everybody. It became a landmark at the time because Paisley was very central geographically.”

Eventually, the Inn became a very popular gathering place for travellers all over Southern Ontario.

“Over the years it grew into a thriving metropolis and actually it was the only licensed establishment north of Toronto for many years. It gathered quite a following with lineups right around the corner to have their beautiful meals and dinner buffets.”

Liddle says it is sad to see the Inn go, but the property will be revitalized and the Inn will be reborn as something new to continue serving the town. Today’s ceremony will include a socially distanced gathering at the Paisley Cenotaph Square where there will be speeches from local dignitaries.

“One of the owners will be there to make a speech and there will also be a ceremonial sledgehammering to the front of the Inn, as well.”

A presentation of a brick from the building to Arran-Elderslie Mayor Steve Hammell will also be part of the ceremony, as well as a special guest to play the bagpipes, Liddle shares. Also, a socially distanced gathering this evening at the Legion will be held.

Liddle notes that it is sad to lose part of the town’s history, but the property will be given new life to serve the community in a new way, and today’s celebration is part of that.

“Just to ceremoniously say she’s going to go to the next stage of her life. I think the theory is basically the Inn has always served the community, and for 30 or so years now she hasn’t been able to. So she’s going to be given a rebirth.”

The current property owners, Young Development Corporation, who Liddle is representing, is working with BMF Construction of Waterloo to turn the property into commercial and multi-residential units. Previously, Young Development Corporation and BMF Construction have done work with the Township of Wellesley and the Region of Waterloo.

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