ELORA – If you think Elora is looking a little more gorgeous for the holidays this year, you’re not wrong.
There’s a beautification project going on and there are many people to thank for it.
Kristy Hillis and Don Kogan purchased several historic buildings in the downtown core since 2020 with the intention of restoring the buildings and maintaining the beautiful streetscape.
Those who frequent the village will have noticed a new facade at the Badley restaurant is now completed.
The former Commercial Hotel is currently shrouded in dust mitigation fabric as stonework is being done. And the Gorge Cinema around the corner already completed its facelift earlier this year.
There are plans to restore a few other properties as well, but with Christmas coming, it’s time to shine a light on those projects.
That’s where Nick Preisenhammer comes in.
Preisenhammer owns and operates Gladiator Pro Wash, a company that does exterior pressure washing, cleans windows and other exterior work.
Winter is their down time, Preisenhammer said in an interview, and he’s been looking for opportunities to pick up other kinds of work to keep his crew employed over winter.
Last year they started hanging Christmas lights for some of their summer clients and this year Hillis and Kogan hired him to light up their buildings.
And what a sight.
The arched windows and roofline of the Dalby House are outlined in light. The Elora Mews is lit up with soft white lights and greenery. The courtyard outside the Badley has trees, wooden reindeer and greenery along with lights for a splashy show.
“We’re making this a winter wonderland,” Preisenhammer said. “The town is already beautiful; we’re bringing light to the darkest time of the year.
“We want to make this as big as Monster Month, to really spotlight Elora.”
As soon as Monster Month came down, Preisenhammer and his crew started work on the lights.
They use high quality, commercial grade lights that are custom cut to the building, he said.
Warm white LED lights take less electricity and throw a soft glow that’s easy on the eyes.
Adding to the elegance is greenery – in pots, garlands, and real Christmas trees – provided by Well-Rooted Gardens, another partner in the beautification team.
Preisenhammer said he works on a lighting plan with the customer and can show, with a computer program, what a home or building will look like.
That removes the guesswork and ensures the job meets expectations right from the get-go, he said.
Many stores put up their own lights and Preisenhammer said these simple white lights enhance what’s already been going on in the shops for years.
The pressure was on to get the lighting project complete for Starlight Shopping, which occurred Nov. 16 and 17 with another two nights Nov. 23 and 24.
Participating shops will have lots on offer from 11am to 10pm on those dates.
Preisenhammer does private homes as well as commercial sites and he offers this advice to the homeowner struggling with their own lighting plan:
- light up the most interesting features of your home such as roofline, windows, doors, and walkways;
- measure first and avoid dangling strands;
- keep strings of light taught and well-attached and make sure all the lights are working;
- incorporate greenery if you can. It adds to the elegance Preisenhammer said; and
- take your time and enjoy the process.