The Boathouse in Victoria Park will not re-open until least mid-September, according to Bill MacTavish, the new operator of the facility.
The delay is due to issues with powering the building and ensuring the renovations comply with the city’s heritage regulations.
“I was hoping we’d be open mid-June, early July and that was aggressive, and I knew there was a possibility that wouldn’t happen,” MacTavish told Craig Norris in an exclusive interview on The Morning Edition Friday.
“My frustration lies in the fact that I’d like to be able to take advantage of the summer and the patio season and I know I’m not alone in wanting The Boathouse to be open right now.”
MacTavish plans to increase the seating capacity at the venue, improve its washrooms and install new light and sound systems.
“We’re completely overhauling the mechanical and the electrical and the plumbing, pretty much everything. If you walk by the building now, it’s gutted, there’s nothing in there,” said MacTavish.
“While we have it gutted it gives us an opportunity to do exactly what we wanted, and exactly what the building needs, it’s just taken longer than we had anticipated,” he said
MacTavish says the city’s heritage department doesn’t want him to install anything above the roof line, but that makes it more difficult to install the new ventilation system.
“We have to put ventilation through the roof. We have a new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system and then we have to put in a new hood vent for the kitchen, and all of that venting typically would go through the roof above the roof life. They’re hoping we can find a better solution,” said MacTavish.
As a result, MacTavish has had to redo his design drawings for the building and will be submitting a new plan to the heritage department.
The other issue is that the building currently does not have enough power.
“It wasn’t really something that we could have anticipated until we actually got in there with our engineers, which we weren’t able to do until we got the lease,” said MacTavish. “Once we got in there, we found out pretty quickly there was going to be a shortage in power. And right now we’re working with K-W Hydro and the city to resolve that as quickly as possible.”
MacTavish says right now the building gets about 200 amps, but he needs a new transformer to bring that up to 400 or 600 amps.