The Barracks Inn finds a home in downtown Ancaster

News Oct 30, 2017 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster’s newest hotel is contributing to the diverse and prestigious picture of Ancaster’s evolving downtown, says the owner of the building.

Bob Wilkins, former chair of the Ancaster Heritage Business Improvement Area, and his business partner, Bill Walker, opened the 18-deluxe room, boutique hotel, The Barracks Inn, in an effort to inspire the culture and businesses along Wilson Street.

So far, said Wilkins, mission accomplished.

“My vision has been of a livable, walkable downtown,” said Wilkins, who as chair of the BIA promoted the town’s heritage.

He said the hotel offers only breakfast, in an effort to encourage visitors to explore the town and have lunch or dinner at various other restaurants in the area, such as the Rousseau House or Cavallo Nero. Wilkins said when he announced plans for the hotel a few years ago, the goal was to provide accommodations for people attending various local events and weddings at the Ancaster Old Mill. Again, he says, that is now happening.

“(The hotel) adds to the entire business community,” he says.

Wilson Street’s businesses and residents are also looking forward to the day when the arts centre is eventually opened, which will only enhance the entire heritage and cultural aspect of the downtown.

But the inn is also a business venture, and so far, said Wilkins, it is thriving. The Barracks Inn has seen nearly full rooms. During the followup to Christmas last year, rooms were almost always filled. This year, he said, for the next two weeks accommodations are at capacity.

“It’s doing OK,” he said. “It’s really nice when you have a vision and it comes through.”

Wilkins had said reconstructing the building, with parts of it dating back to the 1800s, took longer than expected. Over the years, the distinctive stone had been stuccoed over and different parts of the building served as apartments, a car dealership, a  body shop and a tool-and-die operation.

The original building, which was L-shaped, was used as a drugstore from 1835-68 before a fire destroy it.

There have been stories, including in the reference book, Ancaster: A Pictorial History, published by the Ancaster Township Historical Society, that the structure was once used as a barracks for soldiers during the War of 1812.

The arduous renovation work, which included excavating the ground and the installation of new footings, preserved and reused a cornerstone from 1851 that was found.

The construction, which Wilkins said cost a  “significant” amount of money, included building a one-and-a-half storey addition on top of the concrete block building, which was attached to the rear of the structure sometime in the 1960s.

The porch that was built and runs the length of the second floor, extending over the entrance, pays homage to the former Newton Inn that was located at Jerseyville Road and Wilson Street, located just outside the downtown area before it burned down.

“There is a rhyme and reason to the additions on the building,” Wilkins said.

The hotel easily fits in with the rest of Wilson Street’s architecture and culture. It’s not surprising, considering Wilkins is a strong advocate for preserving the heritage of the community. He and his partner, Walker, fixed up the former Ancaster Carriage Works near the other end of Wilson Street, which now houses a financial services firm. They oversaw the construction of two new structures on either side of the main structure, which were designed for heritage purposes to look like they were constructed around the same timeline.

“The hotel compliments what has happened and will happen in Ancaster,” said Wilkins.

The Barracks Inn finds a home in downtown Ancaster

News Oct 30, 2017 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster’s newest hotel is contributing to the diverse and prestigious picture of Ancaster’s evolving downtown, says the owner of the building.

Bob Wilkins, former chair of the Ancaster Heritage Business Improvement Area, and his business partner, Bill Walker, opened the 18-deluxe room, boutique hotel, The Barracks Inn, in an effort to inspire the culture and businesses along Wilson Street.

So far, said Wilkins, mission accomplished.

“My vision has been of a livable, walkable downtown,” said Wilkins, who as chair of the BIA promoted the town’s heritage.

He said the hotel offers only breakfast, in an effort to encourage visitors to explore the town and have lunch or dinner at various other restaurants in the area, such as the Rousseau House or Cavallo Nero. Wilkins said when he announced plans for the hotel a few years ago, the goal was to provide accommodations for people attending various local events and weddings at the Ancaster Old Mill. Again, he says, that is now happening.

“(The hotel) adds to the entire business community,” he says.

Wilson Street’s businesses and residents are also looking forward to the day when the arts centre is eventually opened, which will only enhance the entire heritage and cultural aspect of the downtown.

But the inn is also a business venture, and so far, said Wilkins, it is thriving. The Barracks Inn has seen nearly full rooms. During the followup to Christmas last year, rooms were almost always filled. This year, he said, for the next two weeks accommodations are at capacity.

“It’s doing OK,” he said. “It’s really nice when you have a vision and it comes through.”

Wilkins had said reconstructing the building, with parts of it dating back to the 1800s, took longer than expected. Over the years, the distinctive stone had been stuccoed over and different parts of the building served as apartments, a car dealership, a  body shop and a tool-and-die operation.

The original building, which was L-shaped, was used as a drugstore from 1835-68 before a fire destroy it.

There have been stories, including in the reference book, Ancaster: A Pictorial History, published by the Ancaster Township Historical Society, that the structure was once used as a barracks for soldiers during the War of 1812.

The arduous renovation work, which included excavating the ground and the installation of new footings, preserved and reused a cornerstone from 1851 that was found.

The construction, which Wilkins said cost a  “significant” amount of money, included building a one-and-a-half storey addition on top of the concrete block building, which was attached to the rear of the structure sometime in the 1960s.

The porch that was built and runs the length of the second floor, extending over the entrance, pays homage to the former Newton Inn that was located at Jerseyville Road and Wilson Street, located just outside the downtown area before it burned down.

“There is a rhyme and reason to the additions on the building,” Wilkins said.

The hotel easily fits in with the rest of Wilson Street’s architecture and culture. It’s not surprising, considering Wilkins is a strong advocate for preserving the heritage of the community. He and his partner, Walker, fixed up the former Ancaster Carriage Works near the other end of Wilson Street, which now houses a financial services firm. They oversaw the construction of two new structures on either side of the main structure, which were designed for heritage purposes to look like they were constructed around the same timeline.

“The hotel compliments what has happened and will happen in Ancaster,” said Wilkins.

The Barracks Inn finds a home in downtown Ancaster

News Oct 30, 2017 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster’s newest hotel is contributing to the diverse and prestigious picture of Ancaster’s evolving downtown, says the owner of the building.

Bob Wilkins, former chair of the Ancaster Heritage Business Improvement Area, and his business partner, Bill Walker, opened the 18-deluxe room, boutique hotel, The Barracks Inn, in an effort to inspire the culture and businesses along Wilson Street.

So far, said Wilkins, mission accomplished.

“My vision has been of a livable, walkable downtown,” said Wilkins, who as chair of the BIA promoted the town’s heritage.

He said the hotel offers only breakfast, in an effort to encourage visitors to explore the town and have lunch or dinner at various other restaurants in the area, such as the Rousseau House or Cavallo Nero. Wilkins said when he announced plans for the hotel a few years ago, the goal was to provide accommodations for people attending various local events and weddings at the Ancaster Old Mill. Again, he says, that is now happening.

“(The hotel) adds to the entire business community,” he says.

Wilson Street’s businesses and residents are also looking forward to the day when the arts centre is eventually opened, which will only enhance the entire heritage and cultural aspect of the downtown.

But the inn is also a business venture, and so far, said Wilkins, it is thriving. The Barracks Inn has seen nearly full rooms. During the followup to Christmas last year, rooms were almost always filled. This year, he said, for the next two weeks accommodations are at capacity.

“It’s doing OK,” he said. “It’s really nice when you have a vision and it comes through.”

Wilkins had said reconstructing the building, with parts of it dating back to the 1800s, took longer than expected. Over the years, the distinctive stone had been stuccoed over and different parts of the building served as apartments, a car dealership, a  body shop and a tool-and-die operation.

The original building, which was L-shaped, was used as a drugstore from 1835-68 before a fire destroy it.

There have been stories, including in the reference book, Ancaster: A Pictorial History, published by the Ancaster Township Historical Society, that the structure was once used as a barracks for soldiers during the War of 1812.

The arduous renovation work, which included excavating the ground and the installation of new footings, preserved and reused a cornerstone from 1851 that was found.

The construction, which Wilkins said cost a  “significant” amount of money, included building a one-and-a-half storey addition on top of the concrete block building, which was attached to the rear of the structure sometime in the 1960s.

The porch that was built and runs the length of the second floor, extending over the entrance, pays homage to the former Newton Inn that was located at Jerseyville Road and Wilson Street, located just outside the downtown area before it burned down.

“There is a rhyme and reason to the additions on the building,” Wilkins said.

The hotel easily fits in with the rest of Wilson Street’s architecture and culture. It’s not surprising, considering Wilkins is a strong advocate for preserving the heritage of the community. He and his partner, Walker, fixed up the former Ancaster Carriage Works near the other end of Wilson Street, which now houses a financial services firm. They oversaw the construction of two new structures on either side of the main structure, which were designed for heritage purposes to look like they were constructed around the same timeline.

“The hotel compliments what has happened and will happen in Ancaster,” said Wilkins.