Some possible good news for an older building. The five-story block known as Jarvis Apartments on Princess Avenue is being renovated into affordable housing for seniors. At age 75, the 64-unit building was in poor condition, was a neighbourhood eyesore and definitely needed repair. Since cheap living in the core is a rarity, it's nice to know that the building is becoming part of an affordable housing project. According to a November 1 Free Press article, "Once-charming apartments restored," rents will be kept at 70% to 80% of market rates for the next 25 years. All electrical work and plumbing is being redone and new appliances added. If only we could get a few more projects like this for (ahem) those of us who AREN'T seniors perhaps I could live downtown again, walk to work, get exercise, do my part for the environment, attend downtown festivals without having to figure out where I'm going to park - all that good stuff.
But wait, further reading reveals that, instead of the original 64 apartments, there's going to be 53, with a range of bachelor, one and two-bedroom units. Woodfield Developments are adding laminate flooring and ceramic tiles. And the reporter adds "its new red brick exterior makes it look thoroughly modern." How much of the original building is left? Is a 1930s building improved by being made to look "thoroughly modern?" This isn't so much a restoration as a renovation, although many writers, including this one, seem to use the words interchangeably.