8-14 Macdonell Street,
Guelph, Ontario N1H 6P7
With the closing of the Apollo Eleven restaurant on Wyndham Street and the sale of the historic Petrie Building we are now being subjected to sentimental eulogies about the end of the Apollo’s forty year run and treated to snippets of news about renovation/restoration work - the scope and direction of which are still to be disclosed. It’s a community delusion, however, because the Apollo’s history is a terrible mark against downtown Guelph, and what Guelphites ought to be talking about now is the near criminal negligence of that historic building by its former owners. Certainly property owners have the right to treat their property as they please within the limits of the law, but the bewildering treatment of this unique and valuable building made the Apollo’s owners the very definition of ornery downtown landowner stubbornness. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe there were very real economic and legal explanations for what appeared to the whole city to be the purposeless disregard for the structure, but for the duration of my life growing up there the Petrie Building was a grotesque eyesore and aspersions on the character and motives of the owners never ceased to be whispered. Now the Petrie Building will be saved - something the former owners never cared to do, apparently. They were bad stewards of a heritage landmark. Now let’s take some time to consider how this condition and situation befell a treasured site in the first place, how it can be prevented in the second place, and what actions can be taken against owners who seem to display such bad citizenship in the third place.
Published on Monday, May 4, 2015 as “Sentimental eulogies about Apollo misplaced.”
The whole point is that the treatment of the Petrie Building by the owners of the Apollo Greek restaurant on the ground floor has long been a sterling example of who not to manage a building.