The Tremont House was built in 1889 as a 24-room hotel and was one of the finer establishments in town. Later it became the favoured watering-hole for shipyard workers. Losing its former glamour in the late 1900s, the building became known as the “rough part of town” and finally stood vacant and dilapidated for years. In 2005 the town of Collingwood bought the property with the intention to bulldoze the building for parking.
The historic building, however, was saved after a long time battle by the Collingwood Branch of the Architectural Conservatory of Ontario (ACO). Finally, the Tremont was purchased by Richard and Anke Lex. Richard, an avid heritage preservationist and Anke, a ceramic artist, began to breathe new artistic life into the building.
In September 2010 the former hotel’s halls were once again filled with many people proclaiming the newly reopened Tremont a jewel in Collingwood’s historic downtown.
Visiting the Tremont is an authentic and energizing experience. The first floor is now home to the Tremont Cafe and a music school, while on the second floor there are 12 working artists in individual studios creating a diverse and stunning variety of art, each with unique stories to tell.
The Tremont restoration project received a number of awards, locally, provincially and nationally and spurred further revitalization on Simcoe Street.