By Andrej Vukovic
After years of nearby development, Minto Properties has begun constructing a 98-room, 10-story hotel at 29 Lisgar Street, inside the Lisgar Collegiate Institute cafeteria.
Last Thursday, the Canadian real estate corporation held a ceremonial groundbreaking for their project, which is part of a mixed-use building that will also include condominium units.
“Our goal is to create a best-in-class mixed-use development,” Minto president Johnson Hodge said in a press release. “This is the first hotel we’ve planned inside an already-established building. I hope it establishes our tendency to blaze new trails in all aspects of the construction business.”
But Minto’s bold new project has not been unopposed. Lisgar staff and administration members dubbing themselves the Collegiate Cafeteria Condo Construction Critics (CCCCC) have released a petition against the hotel. Rob Dobson, a Writer’s Craft teacher at Lisgar who is serving as chair of the initiative, had the following to say about his opposition to Minto’s plan:
“As an educator, I occasionally have to silence students who talk during class because they detract from their classmates’ ability to hear me and focus on what I am saying. Yet, no matter how persuasive I am, I cannot silence a construction site.”
Other CCCCC members have openly criticized the building, with several accusing it of infringing upon Lisgar’s designated heritage property status. Physics teacher Joan Jedson used a sound level meter on her Android device to obtain a sound intensity of 80 decibels — comparable to that of a telephone dial tone — for the construction already proceeding two floors below her classroom. “If I wanted to shout this often, I would’ve worked in motivational speaking,” she told our LisgarWrite interviewer.
Despite the negative feedback, Minto president Johnson Hodge is optimistic. He says, “Our project is fiscally inevitable. With all the prime real estate available inside high schools, I can’t believe no one thought of putting them to good use earlier. We might even make the Lisgar tunnel, which has been closed for several years, into a direct hotel entrance for passers-by who want to circumvent the hustle and bustle surrounding ninth graders’ lockers.”
The hotel is slated to open in fall of this year.