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Search continues for tenants for downtown heritage building

BY VICKI GILHULA vgilhula@northernlife.ca The future of one of Sudbury?s oldest buildings, the former Catholic orphanage, is still uncertain. Le Carrefour Francophone had planned to move into 38 Xavier St.
BY VICKI GILHULA

The future of one of Sudbury?s oldest buildings, the former Catholic orphanage, is still uncertain.

Le Carrefour Francophone had planned to move into 38 Xavier St., but its board of directors have decided renovations would be too costly. Instead, the French community centre is looking at relocating to the Nolan Centre on Notre Dame Avenue by the end of the year.

Dalron Construction has purchased the Le Carrefour Francophone building at 20 Ste. Anne Rd. from the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie. It has plans to turn
the former St. Joseph?s Hospital into apartments.

Dalron is in the process of getting the go-ahead from the city?s planning department. Le Carrefour Francophone and its tenants have been given to the end of 2004 to move out.

The D?Youville Orphanage building, which for many years housed the Franco-Ontario folk arts museum, was owned by the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.

Last February the diocese applied to city council to have the 109-year-old building demolished, on the grounds the cost of restoring the empty heritage
building was prohibitively high. In an effort to save the building and to fend off bankruptcy, Le Carrefour Francophone switched properties with the
diocese.

The cost of restoring 38 Xavier St., officially designated a heritage building in 1982, is estimated at between $500,000 and $1 million. The building sits on
1.4 acres and has been assessed at $350,000.

Xavier Street is outside the boundaries for Downtown Sudbury so the owners are unable to take advantage of government grants which support BIAs, said Pat Dubreuil, financial administrator for the diocese.

The area is designated institutional, so the owners do not pay taxes. The property would have to be rezoned as commercial to allow for development into a restaurant or retail store, and this would change its tax status, said Dubreuil.

There are efforts to find tenants for the heritage building, although no one is ready to talk about future plans.