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Former Loretto Ski and Board Shop destroyed in over night fire

March 6, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

For people who have fond memories of skiing at the Loretto ski hills, the final exit for this once popular sports venue was the complete destruction of the former ski lodge in an overnight fire that started on Thursday night, February 27.

It is not known exactly when the blaze started but it is believed it burned un-checked over night and was reported the next morning by a passing motorist who found nothing more than a smoking ruin.

The 55-year0old structure was entirely wood construction.

The building was the original day lodge when the ski hills opened in 1965 on the Third Concession in Adjala-Tosorontio.

Entrepreneur Frank Stripinis, created the Loretto Ski centre and ran the operation until 2001 when he was forced to close it up after several season of poor ski weather.

The ski hills closed but the building remained and it became the Loretto Ski and Board shop catering to people from around the region and beyond.

Superior service, a wide selection, and experienced staff made it a popular place for skiers, many of whom travelled considerable distance, to buy equipment or have their skis serviced.

The building made the news last year when it was discovered that the property had been severed into three lots with the condition that the shop was to be demolished when a new house was built on the property.

However, operator Linus Stripinis, Frank’s son, was unaware that he had been operating for 12 years with a demolition order hanging over his head. Linus not only operated the shop after Frank’s death, he lived in the building.

When a demolition order was put into place, it was delayed as Linus appealed to have the decision overturned and hoped he could be “grandfathered” in as the successful business had had a lot of community support.

Eventually he had to relocated and found a new location on Airport Road not far from the Mansfield Ski Centre.

The building was supposed be demolished by the Town but the fire beat them to it.

A cause for the fire has not yet been determined.



         


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