'Bittersweet': Castle façade coming down from former Oktoberfest building

The castle comes down from the former home of Oktoberfest (Dan Lauckner / CTV Kitchener)

Demolition has started on the castle façade on the former Oktoberfest building in Downtown Kitchener.

The iconic castle is coming down to make way for a new development.

"It is bittersweet," said Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest executive director Alfred Lowrick. 'It's sad in some aspects but you know things have to change."

The castle has been home to Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest for 35 years, but earlier this year the festival moved its headquarters to the former BMO building on King Street after dealing with financial loss.

The building will become a mixed-use retail space with restaurants, shops and office space. The building was purchased by Hans House Inc. for $1.3 million as part of a joint project between the Woodhouse Group and Brightpath Capital Corporation.

The Maypole will stay at its location on Benton Street.

This year's Oktoberfest will kick off with an official opening ceremony on Sept. 24, running over three weekends from Sept. 24 to Oct. 11.

"The festival is changing, again more virtual, more online merchandising and those tpyes of things," Lowrick said. "It's important to reinvent ourselves."