Old CN station roof getting makeover

Duane Hicks

The makeover on the old CN station’s roof finally has begun–and the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau couldn’t be happier.
“After two long years as the biggest priority of our current board, the FFVB is over the moon with the fact that at long last we can say that we’re getting our roof done,” executive director Matt Soprovich told the Times last week.
Finding the $40,000 required to get the much-needed work done has been an obstacle but a concerted effort this past year finally made the repairs doable.
“A combination of fundraisers, local support, penny saving, and some financial support from the Ontario Heritage Trust put us about halfway towards the money needed by the springtime,” Soprovich explained.
“We also applied for a few grants and funding opportunities along the way, with assistance from Diana Kangus.
“The board applied for a grant program being run by Parks Canada back in February,” he noted.
“We sent it off and didn’t hear a peep from them until about four months later, when they sent us an e-mail saying, ‘Hey, we think this is a great project. We’d love to give you some money for it!’
“And all of a sudden, we went from half of the way there to all the way there just like that,” Soprovich said.
After careful consideration by the board, the Volunteer Bureau selected Mueller Roofing as the successful bidder.
“We’ll be getting all new shingles across the approximately 9,000 square feet of roof, as well as all the accessories–new flashing, new vents, etc.,” noted Soprovich.
“We’ll also be getting all new wood fascia around the entire building–over 500 feet worth.”
Soprovich said the makeover is “going to make a world of difference to our building.”
“I spent a good part of this spring and summer picking up shingles off the ground after wind storms, so this is absolutely a much-needed project,” he stressed.
“It’s just honestly such a relief to see the hard work of this board, and of everyone who’s helped us out along the way, paying off.
“Once it’s complete, we’ll have a great, stable building to continue running valuable programming out of for years to come, as well as one that’s going to look good,” he added.
Soprovich thinks the new roof will make the historic building–one of a very few here in town–“really stand out as the grand old girl that she’s meant to be.”
“We’ll all see soon enough, though,” he said.