Elora South Inc. gets go-ahead from council for Walser ruins reconstruction

ELORA – Elora South Inc. is ready to begin work on the Walser ruins, located in the brownfield property south of the Grand River in Elora that is currently under development.

The developer has asked that the holding symbol on the property be lifted so work can get underway.

There are big plans for the property overall, including condominiums (currently under construction), relocating and rebuilding the ruins of the Potter Foundry (completed in 2021) and restoration of the other ruins on the site.

The Walser ruins are proposed to be restored, with a restaurant on the ground floor and eight hotel rooms above.

Township heritage planner Marianna Iglesias explained to council at its committee of the whole meeting on March 13 that the developer has met the obligations to remove the holding status.

“Due to the recent enactment of Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act (2022), in November 2022, exterior design is no longer a matter that is subject to site plan control,” Iglesias  reported.

“Since  all  of  the  applicable conditions for the removal of the holding zone have been satisfied, it would be appropriate to pass a bylaw to remove the holding zone symbol to allow the redevelopment of the site.”

Mayor Shawn Watters noted he was on council when the property first came before council and he supported maintaining the ruins in some fashion.

“Some people wanted to push it down,” Watters said. “It’s nice to see (the project) moving forward.”

Council approved removing the holding zone provision.