Our hostel consists of downtown townhouse dwellings constructed around 1889. There are six buildings in a row (connected) and a total of eight in extent.
As one might imagine, it required a lot of renovation to convert these former single-family dwellings into multi-bed hostel buildings. We had to add shower and toilet facilities (lots of them) and conform to Toronto’s stringent fire and building codes.
Toronto has long been one of the great boom-towns of North America and one of the few cities where it is desirable to live in the heart of the downtown area.
New building cranes rise into the skyline heralding new construction almost daily. And there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of smaller sub-contractors to do the finished work on the interiors.
We “import” our contractors from the Chatham area of southwestern Ontario, about four hours drive away near the border with Michigan State.
They have renovated all ten of our buildings starting over a decade ago when the first building was opened as a small hostel. The work is ongoing and seemingly unending in order to maintain standards.
Why do we bring them in from such a distance when we have to provide them with accommodation to them during the work week?
First of all we can. (We are a hostel don’t forget, so we have the facilities). But most importantly, we appreciate the professionalism they always bring to the job.
We needn’t fret about outrageous cost over runs (the bane of many construction projects) but can count on the work being completed on time and on budget. With Larry and his crew, we always know where we stand.
Larry, the honcho of the group, has an enviable reputation for scrupulous honesty and first-class workmanship. What more might one ask?
Our hostel is known as a clean and efficient, modern operation while still maintaining much of its’ old Victorian charm.
We can thank the builders for a lot of that.