After 156 years The Dalby House is ready for its next chapter
The history of Elora is rich and The Dalby House has been at the literal centre of it all. This year, 2021 marks this structure’s 156th birthday! And for such an old gal, she looks amazing! Having gone through many transformations, Sam Bhanji, the owner today, decided it needed to be brought back to its original glory and energy as a hub for Elora’s community and commerce.
Owner, Sam Bhanji states, “As an investor, I was intrigued with an opportunity to hold a piece of Elora’s rich history with the acquisition of the Dalby House property in 2019. Our investment into the conversion to residential was driven by the fact that Elora was very limited with residential inventory and giving back the experience of living in such a landmark is a privilege that is only fitting to the beautiful town that Elora is, rated as one of the most beautiful places to live in Canada.”
Starting in 2019, Sam began cleaning up the outside of the building and the gardens but refrained from making any changes to the exterior as he wanted to keep the original design. The interior, however, needed a bit more help. A transformation has been made, keeping the main structure’s authenticity while expanding the uses of the building to allow for retail on 2 levels: the street level and lower level, while also offering the second and third floors to host eight exquisitely remodelled apartments (four per floor).
Reviving the original famous name, “The Dalby House”, this three-storey flat-iron building with an elevator and a well-finished basement will bring back much of the hustle, bustle, and energy of its roots.
The vision of the project is two-fold: Reconnect the grand structure with the centre of town, and give Elora another anchor point for its core as an inspirational hub of community, commerce. and innovation, as the town continues to increase in magnetism.
Blair and Stephanie Maye, owners of Maven Commercial Real Estate Brokerage who manage the property, having lived and worked in Centre Wellington for many years, have always shared what a gem the area is to friends and clients. Keeping track of what was happening in the area, Stephanie saw that one of the finest properties in Elora was available and proceeded to help Sam secure his position as the new owner at the end of 2019.
Soon after the pandemic hit and in seeing the housing crisis ensuing, they all saw the need to pivot away from offices only and add two floors (eight apartments) of living space.
The vision behind the ‘Did You Know?’ series, (creative story-based window wraps), came from our marketing partners at Rhubarb Media.
Maye says, “To highlight The Dalby House attraction for potential tenants, we selected historical stories around innovation, collaboration, resourcefulness and community. These traits are what made life and commerce in this building thrive in the past and believe it will be the same for the next chapter!”
Each window includes a historic photograph, a story and a QR code to take you to a webpage which includes images, floor plans, an inquiry form, and close-ups of the window wraps. The webpage also includes a dedication to the late Stephen Thorning, (1949-2015) a beloved journalist for the area, whose articles were an integral source for the stories on the windows.
Main floor retail is now available, while the second and third-floor luxury living apartments will be available for occupancy on December 1st, 2021.
Special thanks to the Wellington County Museum & Archives for helping to source the images for the windows.
Stephanie Maye, Broker of Record
Maven Commercial Real Estate, Brokerage