Deeds, other documents get new home

Mallory
Mallory Clarkson
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Government services

People can finally flock back to the old liquor store on Elizabeth Avenue - not to get a case of beer, but to knock the dust off of old important provincial documents.

The Commercial Registrations Division's new offices were officially opened at 59 Elizabeth Ave. in St. John's Wednesday after moving from the East Block of Confedera-tion Building.

The Commercial Registration Division's new offices were officially opened on Elizabeth Avenue Wednesday. The building contains the registry of deeds and records of corporations in a climate controlled environment. - Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

People can finally flock back to the old liquor store on Elizabeth Avenue - not to get a case of beer, but to knock the dust off of old important provincial documents.

The Commercial Registrations Division's new offices were officially opened at 59 Elizabeth Ave. in St. John's Wednesday after moving from the East Block of Confedera-tion Building.

The registry of deeds and records of corporations are now held in climate-controlled rooms, which are fully accessible to the public. With a layout similar to a library or archive and with approximately 20 computers available, information can be easily accessed.

The modern, streamlined facility was created to protect and house delicate, handwritten deeds and records dating back to 1825 and to better serve the public.

"(This building is) more accessible, in a more central location and there's parking outside. It's very beneficial to the people of Newfoundland," said Government Services Minister Kevin O'Brien.

O'Brien, along with Irene Muzychka, president of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, were two of a handful of officials who participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Law Society has had issues with the previous facility because deed searchers hired by lawyers were concerned about air quality. Those concerns led to a brief work stoppage in 2009.

St. John's East MHA Ed Buckingham called the new streamlined facility a "great use of space."

O'Brien said the difference between the new offices and the old registry of deeds in the basement of the Confederation Building is overwhelming.

"We have been planning this move for quite some time and I am very happy that we are now able to officially open the new location," he said.

The Elizabeth Avenue building was originally a liquor store and the conversion into an updated government building began in the fall of 2008.

The records moved to their new state-of-the-art location last weekend. Policies - such as no food or drink in the research and vault areas, and no photography - have been put in place to ensure the documents are protected.

"It is important for users of the registries to realize that many of these materials are originals and irreplaceable, and must be handled with due care and attention," said O'Brien.

This is the second building Government Services has opened this year. The other was a new Government Service Centre in Clarenville. Although there is no connection between the two buildings, O'Brien said they reflect his department's mandate to provide better service.

mallory.clarkson@gmail.com

Organizations: Government Services, Commercial Registrations Division, Confederation Building Government Service Centre

Geographic location: Elizabeth Avenue, Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's Clarenville

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