The Town of Smiths Falls is honouring the owner of the Fuller Post Office with the Lieutenant Governor's Heritage Award for Excellence, for having successfully restored the landmark, above and beyond its former beauty.
Canopy Growth Corporation founder Bruce Linton says he became interested in the building while waiting for international rap star Snoop Dogg to arrive at a nearby restaurant.
"It was because I thought it was amazing and in such terrible shape," explains the former cannabis company CEO. "And so I ended up buying it, because on one occasion we had Snoop Dogg come to Smiths Falls. In order to host Snoop Dogg, I said, 'Well, I'll take him to dinner across from that post office, at a restaurant called Chuckles Jack. And Snoop Dogg being Snoop Dogg, he was late, so that gave me time to ask the mayor, 'Who owns that building, and why is it in such bad repair?' By the time Snoop Dogg arrived, I was kind of on the path to owning a building."
The Fuller Post Office, at 30 Russell St. E., was originally designed by Thomas Fuller, chief architect to the dominion of Canada from 1881 to 1886. The post office closed in 1964 and received heritage designation in 1978.
Linton purchased the endangered heritage building which was in a state of disrepair in October of 2018 and undertook restoration between February 2019 and October 2020.
According to the Town of Smiths Falls, the restoration involved a complete renovation from basement to clocktower, and extensive research to ensure architectural details and millwork restorations were made using traditional methods and accurate materials.
Linton says he also added lighting and new technologies like music to play on the clock, which he hopes to be able to promote as a tourist attraction for the town after the pandemic.
Established in 2007, the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards are annual awards, administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust, to recognize remarkable achievements in heritage conservation.