The main Edge Arts gallery space was originally built with hand constructed blocks by Nipigon pioneer Jalmar “John” Salo in the early 1900’s. Back then, it was known as Salo’s Pool Room. In the 1940’s, the two smaller buildings were added. A variety of businesses came and went amongst the three buildings including a drugstore, jewelry stores, restaurants, hair salons, a men’s wear retailer, and a pet store/groomer, among others.
In the early 2000’s, the Township of Nipigon became owners of the vacant buildings. In 2017, the Economic Development Committee recommended that the old store fronts be replaced with colourful, siding facades to improve their curbside appeal. Also that year, with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Township developed a Superior North Youth Arts and Culture Strategy that identified the absence of a dedicated, adequate arts space as a major gap in the region.
In 2018 the Township accessed another Ontario Trillium Foundation grant to renovate the interiors of the three Front St. buildings. That November began the transformation of the buildings into a single, accessible space for arts and culture programs and events. Due to the advanced age of the buildings and their separation, the renovation was a challenging one. Contractor Jordan Aubut and Councillor James Foulds worked long hours to have the building ready for its May 2019 grand opening.