By MAGGIE M, Editor, Publisher, Wedgee-in-Chief, theWedge.LIVE
“Hey Maggie! your lights are still on,” Bruce Linton noticed as I unloaded my equipment from my ol’ clunker to capture his latest building project. It’s pure Linton. He notices small things.
He spoke of small details many times as I visited Canopy for media events, the light hanging in the sense room, the new chairs in the hallway on the second floor, my tripod falling to the floor… Yet, Linton is a man of big ideas.
I popped a helmet on my head and Linton cranked its knob to ensure it stays there. He assumed I had a small head–then a little loosening ensued.
Linton looks well rested months after his abrupt departure from Canopy Growth, a company he co-founded and led to world dominance in the cannabis space.
Smithsfallians’ hearts ached at the news. They lost the daily presence of a great leader and friend; but, he is present periodically and always in spirit.
“I love this town,” Linton emotes. “There is no rejection here.” It is true the town welcomed him wholeheartedly, the former and current administrations.
Linton is in great form, pursuing projects, co-chairing his acclaimed company, Martello Technologies, Kanata, and investing in start-ups like Ruckify. Other ideas are brewing, including a second much larger project in Smiths Falls.
He is flush with cash after selling 10% of his Canopy shares. So “panhandling” investors is no longer a daily grind and money is not a hurdle.
Linton is ebullient about his “Awesome Post Office,” the heritage stone building he recently purchased in the Town of Smiths Falls. (He quipped about the mostly empty, not-so-pretty post office next door.)
This heritage building at 26 Russell Street East is receiving the Linton eye down to the last trim, and the skills of Ryan Peters, AFM Construction, who shares this vision and leads the project hands-on everyday alongside heritage experts like David Sprague, Heritage Mason, Traditional Trades.
The new soon to be unveiled former post office is a mixed-use edifice with four residences on the top two floors featuring luxurious finishings, style and comfort. The ground floor includes five offices, a kitchen and a boardroom for public rental, a co-working space of sorts. Linton is contemplating a wine bar on its lower level, a large room with the patina of original stones as an envelope.
“It’s not my first building project,” he responded when I dubbed him a “builder.” He was referring to Hershey Drive’s massive commercial developments for Canopy. “But it is my first residential project.”
Linton guided me through the bones of his first residential, mixed-use building, a sea of studs, temporary ladders and under-floors. When complete this winter 2020 it will have cost him $3 million dollars.
His imagination and descriptions of what is to come were not lost on me. The windows are all new and perfect replicas of their heritage form, all in historic red. The light gleaming in from these rounded forms was aesthetically pleasing. They are all recessed within deep walls awaiting marble slabs for their sills chosen by his wife, Heather.
“That’s going to be a hanging dining room table,” he exclaimed when we arrived in the bowels of the executive suite, constituting the whole top floor. In the image below, the iron post on the ceiling will brace a footless table and prevent the wine from flowing–literally. It’s an engineering conversation piece that will entertain its occupant’s guests surely at each meal. And I imagine, a little foot-play.
This will be an unparalleled “show suite” in the Town–with a higher rental price. Perhaps the CEO of Canopy will be its tenant, we mused. Or the Sultan of Brunei.
Each floor awaits the pouring of concrete over sub-floor radiant heating, each suite fed by its own boiler. This is a luxurious feature that adds comfort to residency.
Linton agreed to give our readers a good lark and recline in the location of the large jet bathtub yet to be installed in the executive suite. If only I had brought a rubber ducky prop. (He is the most amusing person to interview.)
The iconic clock tower is receiving granular attention. I witnessed the new copper rings arrive for placement around the clock’s many faces. They will gleam with the movement of the sun.
“On Canada Day it will chime through the town,” Linton said excitedly. The top floor tenant will have access to the clock tower’s performing ability. I’m not clear on this but that sounds like a great rental feature–and a Linton original.
The ready-to-go live date was estimated at January 2020 by Peters. Linton adds the unveiling will feature its own angled parking on the West side (once the decrepit building next door is dismantled.)
We wait for the big reveal excitedly.
Linton is still immersed in the redevelopment of the Old Water Plant in Smiths Falls. This project is his own and still a “go.” He is seeking key partners for the estimated $20 million project. It is an engineering feat especially related to water movement and erosion. Eventually, this project will transform the town into the hub it was a century ago.
The Wedge wrote about this project last June with architectural drawings.