Big plans for former Picton Legion branch

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

PICTON – “Experiencing the house, having a nice meal, drinking wine from the county. It’s a very nice convergence of all those qualities that are intrinsic to the County.”

Jonathan Kearns has a passion for breathing new life into historic buildings.
The Toronto based architect, who also resides in the County part-time, is now part owner of the former Picton Legion–the future location of an international culinary school.

Clip–Jonathan Kearns
“Our use of the building will be very similar to theirs except that it will be a cross fertilization of commercial activity and education activity.
So pretty much like the George Brown Culinary School in Toronto. It’s an education facility, but it operates a restaurant on a commercial basis.”

The sale of the legion was finalized April 10th after three years on the market.
With declining legion membership… maintenance of the building became too expensive to manage.

Clip–Pat Burrows-Branch 78 President
“It was a case of have to, not want to. I’m going to miss it, yes.”

The property was sold for 990-thousand dollars–money legion members will use to find a new, smaller location.

Clip–Pat Burrows-Branch 78 President
“We’ll have enough money to buy another place, get it set up the way we want it and be able to have some money left over.”

As for the 14 thousand square foot mansion — plans include extending the front porches, installing outdoor serving centres installed and courtyard for dining.. while inside, there will be classrooms, cooking labs and potentially a reception hall for community rentals

Jonna Semple
“Kearns would like to take his restoration project in phases… with the front of the house hopefully being open by the end of the year. The rest of the house and the culinary school he’ll take his time with he says.. but the hope is to have it open for business in the next three years.”

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