Former art gallery in St. Catharines becoming a boutique hotel

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Published March 2, 2022 at 2:25 pm

Rodman Hall, formerly an art gallery for St. Catharines, is about to be converted into a 13-room boutique hotel with a banquet hall on the main floor. (Photo: Brock University)

While it once spent 60 years as an art gallery in St. Catharines and has been a long-time structure on the Brock University campus since the school opened in 1964, Rodman Hall is about to become something completely new.

After developer Nino Donatelli bought the building in 2020, he presented plans to the city, looking to change it into a 13-room boutique hotel with a banquet room.

That got its final okay at Monday’s (Feb. 28) Council meeting after a staff report penned by Senior Planner Scott Ritchie endorsed the conversion.

Since the developer hasn’t asked for any additions or major alterations to Rodman Hall, the report noted the lands, presently zoned “Local Neighbourhood Institutional,” would need a special provision but that was basically the only thing holding the project back.

The report noted, “The new owner of Rodman Hall is proposing to convert the main three-storey building (original house) into a 13-room boutique hotel. The existing one-storey additions, which were most recently used as an art gallery, would be converted into a 677-square-metre banquet hall with a capacity of 200 persons.”

The original building as constructed in phases between 1857 and 1863 with more recent one-storey additions to house and art gallery built in 1960 and again in 1975.

The report added that “no additions or significant exterior alterations to the existing building are proposed. The existing parking area and terraced gardens would remain as existing.”

The finished hotel and banquet room, sitting on 2.88 hectares, is expected to be completed by the summer.

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