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Charlottetown man who specializes in residence renovations buys historic log home

Paul Coles of Charlottetown is in the process of purchasing the old log home at 15 Hillsborough St. His plan is to fix it up and live in it.
Paul Coles of Charlottetown is in the process of purchasing the old log home at 15 Hillsborough St. His plan is to fix it up and live in it. - Dave Stewart

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A Charlottetown man who says he has a passion for renovating old homes is in the process of purchasing one that’s been in the news quite a bit lately.

Paul Coles expects to begin renovating the historic log home at 15 Hillsborough St. once he takes possession of it over the next two weeks.

Ray Campbell had owned the structure for the past two and a half years, but his plans for the home fell through and then he ended up in a battle with the city over what to do with the property.

Coles said he was able to purchase the home with the help of city council, especially Coun. Greg Rivard, chairman of the planning and heritage committees, and businessman Paul Haddad.

Coles just happens to live on Water Street, around the corner from the log home.

“I’ve lived in the area for a while. I’ve seen (the home). I’ve known of the house (and) I’ve seen the house deteriorate for a while,’’ Coles said.

“I renovate old buildings; that’s my living. I believe I can renovate old buildings and I believe I can renovate this one in a successful manner and make it work.’’

“I renovate old buildings; that’s my living. I believe I can renovate old buildings and I believe I can renovate this one in a successful manner and make it work.’

Paul Coles

Coles said anyone who wants to see what he’s capable of doing with a property need only look at his Facebook page — Paul Coles Renovations — for proof.

“I’ve won six city heritage awards – two for my own properties, four for people I’ve worked for – and two or three provincial heritage awards.’’

Coles, who also owns a number of apartment buildings, said he didn’t jump on the log home when it became available almost three years ago because he was focused on other stuff at the time.

His plan is to renovate the home into a single family dwelling and live in it himself.

“I love cool, funky weird places. I can make that fit that description.’’

Coles said once he’s finished fixing up the log home, the logs will remain exposed on the inside. He realizes that’s going to involve a lot of work.

“I’m working on plans now for an addition to the back of it. I’ve talked to the city and they’re open to reviewing my plans. My goal is to maintain the main building as a defined building and not make defined additions that clutter the look.’’

Coles said he can’t put a price on the value of heritage buildings, especially in the downtown core of the city.

“I’ve been renovating heritage buildings for 30 years, and there’s more value to them today than there ever was. People want to buy them, people want to rent them; people want to live in them.’’

Coles estimates the renovations will take about six months.

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