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Loretto Ski shop trying to stop the wrecking ball

March 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Chances are if you are a skier or snowboarder in this region, you are aware of or have visited the Loretto Ski and Board shop on the Third Concession in Adjala-Tosorontio.

The shop is well known for its inventory, good prices, and expert staff.

However, if the Town gets its way, the building that houses the shop will be rubble come April 15.

The Loretto ski hills were created by Frank Stripinis in 1965 and he also built the day lodge where the shop now operates.

The ski hills ceased operation after the 2001 season after several seasons when weather just wasn’t cooperating and it cost more to try to make snow than they took in as revenue.

After closing the hills, the lodge was turned into the ski and board shop and has been successful ever since.

Frank Stripinis passed away three years ago and his son Linas has continued operating the shop.

After closing the ski hills, the property was sold to a skeet club who were unable to get a permit for their gun club after opposition from neighbors. The property was again sold to current property owner Tim Van Stralen in 2004.

Problems arose when the property was severed into three lots with the condition that the shop was to be demolished once a new house was completed. However, that never happened and Linas continued to operated while the Town essentially turned a blind eye and allowed the successful business to continue.

Linas was not aware that he was operating under a bylaw which said the structure had to be torn down.

Now the Town Council is taking another look a properties in the area and says the law must be followed and the demolition carried out.

“It’s a bylaw. They’re threatening to tear us down,” Linas said. “There’s just too many buildings on this property. The 100 acres was severanced three ways. When that one building went up on the top of the hill, we were supposed to come down. We’re trying to get a fourth severance. It’s wide open here. As far as I understand there’s just too many buildings on this property. I first heard about this from my landlord last fall.”

The plan, Linas said, is to try to get something “grandfathered” in considering the shop has been operating successfully with no complaints for the past 12 years.

The shop also serves as a residence as Linas lives on the second floor of the building.

Originally the building was slated be demolished on December 31, but has now been postponed to the April 15, date.

“A postponement is the least I can hope for. I want to stay here,” Linas said. “It’s been 53 years for us

here now. I think we deserve to be grandfathered in. We’re backed by a lot community support. The building is in good shape, it just needs a renovation.”

Linas has many supporters both local and from other areas who come to the shop as a destination location for ski and board equipment as well as equipment maintenance.

Linas is planning plead his case to the Town Council on Monday, April 8, along with supporters who are planning on attending the meeting in support of keeping the shop in place.

Linas has looked into the possibility of relocating but has not found a suitable location.


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