|Location||Kingston, Ontario, Canada|
The tower was built as Elrond College, an experiment in a new model of student housing. Elrond College, associated with Queen's University, was designed as a non-profit student run co-operative. The brutalist style structure was built to house the college in 1972, and was the first high rise constructed in Kingston. The building had 184 apartments and was designed to hold 400 students. Some of the floors were divided between split-level apartments; this means there is no 5th or 10th floor stop on the elevator. The students would pool their labour to keep the building maintained, and would pay towards the substantial mortgage the co-operative took out to build the structure. The residence was named after Elrond, a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's works. In the books, Elrond's home Rivendell is an idealized place of safety and respite.
The Elrond College experiment failed. Although the initial inhabitants of the building fulfilled their obligation to spend a couple hours each week working on the building, in later years enthusiasm waned and the building fell into disrepair. The halls went uncleaned, the elevators didn't work and other problems discouraged tenants. The site also quickly became a haven for drugs, boisterous parties, and crime. The college was consistently unable to find enough residents to keep the project financially sustainable, and in 1981 the project ended when the building was sold to private developers. They renamed and refurbished it, and it has since operated as a private apartment building owned by Princess Towers Incorporated, a corporation held by Wayne Webster.
Suzanna Wagar is the manager of Princess Tower. Her two sons have committed crimes at Princess Towers:
In March 2017, Princess Towers superintendent Justin Wagar was arrested for break and enter and possession of stolen property after allegedly unlocking a tenant’s apartment and stealing hundreds of dollars of property and a watch worth around $3000.
In January 2016, Jason Wagar (another of Suzanna's son) broke into the rental office of Princess Towers, located the office safe and stole between $315 and $400. Jason had been allowed in to stay at Princess Towers by his mother after his release from jail for a crime that led to 369 days in pretrial custody. Jason has an extensive criminal record. The prosecutor stated that "[his] record speaks for itself. [He's] really done nothing but break into people's places and steal since you were a young man."
Suzanna Wagar remains the manager of the building.
- "Arrest made in Princess Towers theft", Queen's University's The Journal, Victoria Gibson, March 17, 2017
- Yanagisawa, Sue. "Habitual burglar sentenced to 30 months". thewhig.com. The Whig. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- "Habitual burglar sentenced to 30 months". Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- "Princess Towers" Queen's Encyclopedia.
- "Kingston's biggest building gets fixup." Espen Larsen. Kingston Whig - Standard. Aug 14, 2001. pg. 2