In Newmarket, a big facelift is underway at the historic old town hall.

The old town hall just off Main Street is getting a $9-million upgrade. The revitalization of the building is one element of a bigger downtown effort.

“We really felt that this building was an iconic piece and really represented what the town has been all about,” says Colin Service, Director of the town’s Recreation and Culture Department. “It's had many lives in its existence.”

Built in 1867, the building has served as a performance auditorium, a town hall, a farmers market and even a jail.  This facelift will give it a new purpose as a centre for the arts. 

“I think it's very good to get culture to integrate people back into the community, who have been lost and having found any culture within the small Newmarket area,” says resident Alex Wei.

Elsewhere downtown, a new skating rink and ice lounge is part of the overall beautification of the town.

When the work is complete, the building will host live shows and events with a focus on the arts and local talent. It’s expected to be open by the fall.