Senior Citizen Hall gets ‘new lease on life’ thanks to Arthur Optimist Club

ARTHUR – The Arthur Seniors Club is staying put at the Senior Citizen Hall thanks to the Arthur Optimist Club.

“We’re very happy,” said seniors club president Bill Dennis.

He was reacting to the outcome of negotiations between the Township of Wellington North and the Optimist Club, which will see the Optimists taking over management of the building at 244 Isabella St., allowing the club to continue to rent the building.

The seniors had been facing eviction from the aging building after a decade-long lease with the township expired at the end of 2023.

The club had wanted the existing lease renewed, but the municipality had proposed a different scenario.

The township suggested the club cease to pay rent, but instead take over the building’s management and maintenance under a land-lease agreement. The senior’s club turned down the proposal.

“There was quite a bit of negotiation with Wellington North,” Dennis said.

He noted the Optimist Club that reached out to the seniors club offering to help, and he’s glad they did.

“Otherwise, all these people would have nowhere to go,” he said.

He was speaking of club members who regularly attend activities hosted in the building, including euchre, bridge and the like, as well as regular exercise classes put on by the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), special events and more.

Under the new agreement between the Optimists and the township, these activities will be able to continue.

The lease agreement, which was approved by Wellington North council on June 24, started on July 1.

Under the 15-year agreement, the Optimist Club will pay the township $1 per year, and in turn the club will operate the hall, looking after general maintenance and cleaning as well as capital expenditures.

The club will receive all revenues generated by the facility.

The Optimists will honour all rentals that had been booked by the seniors club, which will continue to hold its events at the hall, and will be the main tenant, a news release stated.

VON will also continue running its exercise programs at the hall throughout the year, it said.

The Optimist Club has also said it plans to hold its own events there.

“The Optimist Club plans to hold various fundraising events at the hall throughout the year, with plans to hold an open house this summer,” club president Scott Densmore stated in the release.

“The community’s support at these events will be most welcome.”

Dennis said the seniors club will continue to rent the hall as it always has, but now it will pay its rent to the Optimists instead of the township.

“I would like to thank council and staff for their support in finding a new lease on life, so to speak, for this property,” Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox stated in the release.

“I would also like to thank the Arthur Optimist Club coming forward and leasing the building and ensuring it remains a viable asset for the foreseeable future.”

The club is accepting bookings of the hall for birthday parties, family gatherings, meetings or any other gatherings where extra space is needed.

Those interested are encouraged to email