At long last we have finally found our new location! We are moving to the former Shriners Club at 51 Hyland Avenue. Huge thanks to the Relocation Committee, Realtor Jamie Troke and Mike Stevens, who graciously offered the branch a five year lease for free! 

This was the article published in the Quinte News:

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 99 confirmed it is moving to the old Shrine Club building.

A press conference was held Tuesday at the building located on Highland Avenue announcing the details of the move.

Chair of the relocation committee for the branch, Mike Benson, says the deal was put together thanks to the efforts of realtor Jamie Troke and property owner Mike Stevens.

“(Troke) advocated with (Stevens), which I am told did not take much convincing because Mike is very community oriented and supports the Legion. He knows we could not afford the asking price. As well, Jamie waived all his realtor fees for Branch 99 to be able to do this tonight,” Benson said.

The new agreement is a five-year lease where the Legion will not have to pay rent but will be responsible for the utilities and maintenance of the building.

Renovations and upgrades to the building’s interior will be underway as of Wednesday.

“It’s going to get a fresh paint job, probably new carpeting, new lighting. We’re going to make it our home,” Benson told media.

“We’re here for roughly five years until we’ve secured something else, the same as Shriners did, or build our own.”

No changes will be done to the exterior of the building.

With the move to the new location come some costs.

Benson says there will be some changes to pricing for some elements of the Legion branch.

“The Legion has been known for a lot of free pool tables, shuffleboard, stuff like that. It’s going to change,” Benson told media.

“If you want to play pool, you’re going to rent the balls just like you would downtown at the arcade. You’re going to pay $10 an hour or whatever the going rate is. Beer prices are a topic at our executive meetings. We’d want to stay in comparison to other places in the city. Right now, that’s not changing. Could it change in the future? Inflation changes every thing.”

Downstairs bar at the new location for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 99. October 17, 2023. (Photo: Zach McGibbon/Quinte News)

132 Pinnacle Street had been the location for the legion since 1971.

The City of Belleville had given the branch until December 31 to find a new location as development continues in the Memorial Arena area, including at 132 Pinnacle Street.

“The way they explained to me is the building has to be torn down and make room for parking, like for delivery parking for the Memorial Arena. That’s my understanding on it,” Benson said.

With the renovations ongoing, there is no set date for when the Legion will fully move into its new location.

However, back in August, president of the branch Shirley Stewart told Quinte News it hoped to secure a building by October so that it could move in by December.

There are 272 members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 99.