Condons Woolen Mills building demolished

Dave Stewart dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on May 8, 2010
Condons Woolen Mills building demolished

A historic building in Charlottetown which used to house a hockey rink, various car dealerships, restaurant and woolen mills has been demolished.

Perhaps best known as Condon's Woolen Mills at 203 Fitzroy Street, two Charlottetown developers purchased the building five years ago but decided recently it could no longer be maintained.
Kerry Boswall and Andrew Smith, partners in Keon Developments Ltd., aren't sure yet what the future holds for the now vacant property.
"We'll probably develop the property down the road,'' Boswall said Friday. "We're in a situation now where we are exploring our options to decide what we're going to do.''
Those options could include anything from turning it into a parking lot or condominiums.
Boswall said the building had to be torn down.
"As far as the building goes it was just getting outdated. There wasn't much sense in spending any more money to try and fix it up.''
The property is zoned Mixed Use Corridor (MUC). City bylaws set out 52 possible uses under MUC so the developers have plenty of options.
Most recently, Boswall said the building was used by The Brick for storage.
Since Keon Development has owned the old woolen mills building, it has also been home to an upholstery business and restaurant.
Boswall said when they first purchased the building it was being used by the Salvation Army.
"After they moved out we turned it into The Brick warehouse and then the restaurant went in there . . .''
Boswall said someone paid them a visit on Fitzroy while they were tearing the building down.
"A gentleman stopped in. He originally owned the property back when it was a rink and he was 80-odd years old,'' Boswall said in reference to age of the building.
Well-known Charlottetown historian Catherine Hennessey said Condon's Woolen Mills shut down for good in 1989 with a closing-out sale.
According to her records, Hennessey said the building was first used as a hockey rink in 1907 before the Charlottetown Forum opened later down the street.
The building then was turned into an automobile dealership with a showroom, operating over the years under such names as Horne and Dowd.
"There's definitely some history behind it,'' Boswall said.