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Black Bellows nominated for preservation/reuse award

'[Black Bellows] now stands as an inspiring testament to what can be achieved when talented people decide upon adaptive reuse,' stated the nominator of the new brewery on Simcoe Street
L to R, Peter, Scott, Bryn
Peter Braul, Scott Brown and Bryn Davies stand outside the Black Bellows Brewing Company at 40 Simcoe Street, which was formerly the home of Dey's Auto Body, and was once home to a blacksmith shop. Contributed photo

One of Collingwood’s newest breweries has been nominated for an award to recognize their efforts to repurpose an existing building for their new space.

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) Collingwood branch has nominated Black Bellows Brewing Company for the Paul Oberman Adaptive Reuse award, according to a media release sent by Dawn Hanley, a member of ACO’s Collingwood chapter.

The building now home to Black Bellows was formerly Dey’s Body Shop (40 Simcoe St.). The site was owned by the Dey family as far back as the 1860s when it was a blacksmith shop.

“The repurposing of the Dey’s buildings for the Black Bellows Brewing Company makes it an outstanding nominee for this award,” stated the release.

Scott Brown, Peter Braul and Bryn Davies are the three owners of Black Bellows and said their plan was to create something to honour the history of the building.

“We tried to take a really creative approach to the historic preservation of the building. We didn’t want to lose what made it amazing, Brown told CollingwoodToday in an interview in January 2020.

The ACO media release notes the Black Bellows owners have shown “true spirit of community” in their consultations with the Collingwood Heritage Committee and even with the name Black Bellows, which nods to the site’s history as a blacksmith shop.

“Collingwood has lost much of its industrial heritage to developers who have little to no interest in preserving our cultural and community heritage,” states the release. “[Black Bellows] now stands as an inspiring testament to what can be achieved when talented people decide upon adaptive reuse.”

The Tremont building in Collingwood was the last building in town to receive the award.

The winners of the award will be announced next month by the ACO, and will be selected from nominations from across Ontario. Nominees and photos can be found

at acoheritageawards.ca.