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Final Strokes on 54 Wolseley

by | Jul 26, 2021

A photo of a room under construction with digital paint strokes layered overtop in colours of blue, green, orange and purple.

Terry Mazerolle, the site supervisor overseeing renovations at our new home on 54 Wolseley Street, is pleased with how things are coming along. He loves the great warm feel of the now exposed brick and wood in the over 100-year-old former candy factory. “I’m a builder, I’m a hands on guy, right now I get excited when I see the old wood and finishes. I really enjoy that aspect, bringing a modern look to an older building but leaving some of the integrity as well.”

A panorama view of the ceiling and support beams of 54 Wolseley under construction.

Terry’s job is to keep the project on track and on time with the added twist of doing it during a pandemic, which requires following Covid-19 precautions and safety measures. The place is humming with subtraders, all carefully spaced out so that there are no more than 5 to 7 workers on each floor. Cheerful construction noises, and the occasional whistle, fill the building as carpenters, drywallers, mechanical workers, stone masons, electricians, plumbers and many more tradespeople work side by side to build the new Stella’s Place.


Bringing Life to the Café Space

The elevator pieces will soon be delivered, and all the stairs are now installed, including the great central open stairway – one of the most prominent design features that links the Café space to the kitchen and meeting spaces on the next level.

Now the Café is taking shape and everyone is excited about how nicely the floor turned out. It’s a composite material – cement with bits of stone that were ground down and polished – “not as fancy as Terrazzo but it has a nice feel to it! Hard as anything and no maintenance needed,” says Geoff Seaborn, our ‘Owner’s Representative’ or project manager on the Stella’s Place side.

Geoff has been serving on the Facilities Committee since May 2018 and conceptualizing the new Café space was one of his favourite parts. He can’t wait to see young adults pouring into this fresh, clean, fun new space. “The Café design is such an important component of the ‘feel’ of the new Stella’s Place,” he explains.

A panorama photo of the construction site at 54 Wosleley showing 2 floors with exposed beams and construction tools.

A Huge Team Effort

Geoff cannot sing the team’s praises high enough. There are so many people to thank and acknowledge. As Geoff points out, there is a lot of complexity in a renovation, and so many people have stepped up to the plate, contributing expertise, in kind donations, or deep discounts.

2 photos side by side of the construction site at Stella's Place new building.

Photos Above: Lower Level

Take our architect friend and advisor Jamie Goad who is a passionate supporter of this project:

Our permanent flagship at 54 Wolseley Street is about much more than bricks and mortar. It’s about empowering our next generation. It’s about the confidence and peace of mind that comes from knowing that the front door to the best mental health care for our sons, daughters and grandchildren is right in our own backyard,” says Jamie.

It was he who inspired Mark Garland at GCL Builds to become our builder and donate his company’s services. Not only is Mark waiving the 3% construction management fee, he is also providing the services of project coordinator Hilary Selman free of charge. Hilary works closely with Terry and project manager Matthew Stratton, keeping the paperwork moving, estimating and tendering trade contracts. Without exception, all subtraders have made donations thanks to Mark’s leadership and Hilary’s diligence and commitment to the project.

2 photos side by side of the construction site at Stella's Place new building. The photo on the left is a caged box that will be the new elevator. The photo on the right is a wideview of the second floor, showing windows on the wall and ceiling.

Photos Above: Level Two, the elevator shaft (left)

Nearing the finish line

Renovations are progressing on schedule and with minimal cost overruns. There have been some surprises, “there always are,” says Geoff: A tank containing toxic fuel was found in the basement and needed to be disposed of; there was lead paint and asbestos removal; the main support columns, thick Douglas fir poles, were found to be charred by what would have been a serious fire and needed extra structural reinforcement; and an entire floor needed to be leveled, just to name a few.

And yet… here we are, in the final phase of this 14-month construction project with renovations expected to finish on November 5th.

Architectural drawing of the new building cafe for Stella's Place

Photo Above: Architectural sketch by Stantec of the view from the front desk

Now all we need is you!

We need our community back. We need participants, staff, volunteers and donors to fill the space with their energy, passion, care and creativity. We need colours and textures and the warmth and positive energy that is generated by a vibrant and engaged community.

This is your opportunity to add your individual stroke by taking advantage of the matching gift opportunity offered by the Green-Sanderson family for double the impact.

Last fall our founder Donna Green issued a $500,000 challenge to help us raise the remaining funds needed for the renovation. To date, we have raised just over $200,000 of that match. With your help, we will be able to open the new Stella’s Place and turn our attention to raising funds for programming and for the mental health services that our young adults so urgently need and await.

Help us get to the finish line!

Thank you for your kind consideration and support.