Historic Building Restoration

PROJECTS

We are currently updating our projects page… It will be up shortly.
  •  Full Exterior and Interior Conservation

    Full Exterior and Interior Conservation

  •  Tuckpointing With Jason

    Tuckpointing With Jason

  •  Gable Restoration

    Gable Restoration

  •  Berea Sandstone With Graeme

    Berea Sandstone With Graeme

  •  Margin Tooling

    Margin Tooling

  •  Tuckpointing And Stonework

    Tuckpointing And Stonework

  •  Steam Stripping the Windows

    Steam Stripping the Windows

  •  Stained Glass And Door Restoration

    Stained Glass And Door Restoration

  •  Restoring Doors with Alex

    Restoring Doors with Alex

  •  Prepping For Paint With Lee

    Prepping For Paint With Lee

  •  Gable Reconstruction with Roger Vaughan

    Gable Reconstruction with Roger Vaughan

  •  Jordan Painting the Gable Woodwork

    Jordan Painting the Gable Woodwork

  •  Wood Door Restoration With Roger

    Wood Door Restoration With Roger

  •  Paint Stripping and Wood Restoration

    Paint Stripping and Wood Restoration

  •  Large dormer projection to be restored.

    Large dormer projection to be restored.

  •  Large dormer restored with dentil work.  Prepped, primed and Painted with BM Aura

    Large dormer restored with dentil work. Prepped, primed and Painted with BM Aura "Cottage Red."

  •  Exterior Conservation

    Exterior Conservation

  •  62 Charles Before - Photo Credit to Daniel Lewis ERA Architects

    62 Charles Before - Photo Credit to Daniel Lewis ERA Architects

  •  Slate - Lead Coated Copper - Red Colour Wash

    Slate - Lead Coated Copper - Red Colour Wash

  •  Ocher - Lime - Mortar Colour...Photo Credit to Daniel Lewis ERA Architects

    Ocher - Lime - Mortar Colour...Photo Credit to Daniel Lewis ERA Architects

  •  Martin's (Kagter) amazing team - Slate

    Martin's (Kagter) amazing team - Slate

  •  Dormers and Slate with Grey - Andrew Pruss - Colours

    Dormers and Slate with Grey - Andrew Pruss - Colours

  •  It All Starts Early With Brick Replacement

    It All Starts Early With Brick Replacement

  •  Antoni aka Tuckpointer 30yrs now

    Antoni aka Tuckpointer 30yrs now

  •  Brackets before restoration.

    Brackets before restoration.

  •  Roger's work on the dormer brackets

    Roger's work on the dormer brackets

  •  Tuckpointing Workshop with Daniel Lewis and ERA

    Tuckpointing Workshop with Daniel Lewis and ERA

  •  Porch spindles were restored and painted

    Porch spindles were restored and painted

  •  1 of 4 very tall turned columns that will support the porch roof.  Thanks A and D!

    1 of 4 very tall turned columns that will support the porch roof. Thanks A and D!

  •  Before and after - Door Restoration

    Before and after - Door Restoration

  •  Sripping many layers of paint and dutchman repairs to doors.

    Sripping many layers of paint and dutchman repairs to doors.

  •  All brackets were made in our on-site woodshop.

    All brackets were made in our on-site woodshop.

  •  Adam putting the final touches on one of 11 dormers.

    Adam putting the final touches on one of 11 dormers.

  •  Applying the red colour wash for English tuckpointing.

    Applying the red colour wash for English tuckpointing.

  •  Wood Conservation - stripping and sanding all wood brackets as possible.

    Wood Conservation - stripping and sanding all wood brackets as possible.

  •  william Whitehead House - on the move

    william Whitehead House - on the move

  •  Credit Valley Sandstone in the tonnes is salvaged from the original site.  All stone was clean, redressed and installed on the new foundation.

    Credit Valley Sandstone in the tonnes is salvaged from the original site. All stone was clean, redressed and installed on the new foundation.

  •  Salvaged sandstone laid in lime mortar with exposed aggregate

    Salvaged sandstone laid in lime mortar with exposed aggregate

  •  We shared the site with these little guys during the restoration.

    We shared the site with these little guys during the restoration.

  •  Vines from 100 years of growth had to be carefully remove.  The paint on the front of the house was stripped as well.

    Vines from 100 years of growth had to be carefully remove. The paint on the front of the house was stripped as well.

  •  This is Dan Arellano - He supervised and worked on the tools during the restoration.  Dan did a great job!

    This is Dan Arellano - He supervised and worked on the tools during the restoration. Dan did a great job!

  •  The exterior of this house was in very poor shape due to previous repairs and neglect.

    The exterior of this house was in very poor shape due to previous repairs and neglect.

  •  The house move was as gentle as possible.  The house unfortunately had many stress cracks as a result.

    The house move was as gentle as possible. The house unfortunately had many stress cracks as a result.

  •  Clay Tiles had to be paint stripped and wood as well.

    Clay Tiles had to be paint stripped and wood as well.

  •  100% of the brick joints were raked back and repointed with a red mortar to match the original stopping mortar that was used in the tuckpointing process.

    100% of the brick joints were raked back and repointed with a red mortar to match the original stopping mortar that was used in the tuckpointing process.

  •  This entire house was traditionally tuckpointed using a 4mm ribbon on red stopping mortar.  We wanted to recreate this but it was not in the budget.

    This entire house was traditionally tuckpointed using a 4mm ribbon on red stopping mortar. We wanted to recreate this but it was not in the budget.

  •  These two hard working characters - Graeme Walsh and Edcar Ganuelas

    These two hard working characters - Graeme Walsh and Edcar Ganuelas

  •  Roger Vaughan working with the existing wood brackets. Roger, Lee and Joseph worked very hard to bring back all the wood detailing.

    Roger Vaughan working with the existing wood brackets. Roger, Lee and Joseph worked very hard to bring back all the wood detailing.

  •  Terra cotta pilaster caps.

    Terra cotta pilaster caps.

  •  Adam Fullerton has moved on now to his metalwork.  We will work together on future projects.

    Adam Fullerton has moved on now to his metalwork. We will work together on future projects.

  •  Dan Arellano took this beautiful shot of the morning slate installation by Kagter crew.

    Dan Arellano took this beautiful shot of the morning slate installation by Kagter crew.

  •  Painted metal chimney cap detail.

    Painted metal chimney cap detail.

  •  Exterior Conservation

    Exterior Conservation

  •  76 Howard 1913 (photo from City of Toronto Archives

    76 Howard 1913 (photo from City of Toronto Archives

  •  Front Gable wood, brick, terracotta, windows restored.  (and the handsome chimney too!)

    Front Gable wood, brick, terracotta, windows restored. (and the handsome chimney too!)

  •  Accessibility ramp for the Canada Life Building. Project managed and completed by Hunt Heritage Ltd.

    Accessibility ramp for the Canada Life Building. Project managed and completed by Hunt Heritage Ltd.

  •  330 University Avenue - Canada Life Building

    330 University Avenue - Canada Life Building

  •  Hunt Heritage was given the task of recreating the gate spindles for the ramp railings.

    Hunt Heritage was given the task of recreating the gate spindles for the ramp railings.

  •  A template was made for each (three) sections of the gate spindles.

    A template was made for each (three) sections of the gate spindles.

  •  After Mississauga foundry made our spindles, we put together a mockup for ERA Architects.

    After Mississauga foundry made our spindles, we put together a mockup for ERA Architects.

  •  All granite work completed by Hunt Heritage prior to railing installation.

    All granite work completed by Hunt Heritage prior to railing installation.

  •  Building a custom handrail in accordance to strict building codes.

    Building a custom handrail in accordance to strict building codes.

  •  Each custom spindle was welded to holes drilled into the flat bar.  The slope of the ramp had to be considered prior to installing the railing.

    Each custom spindle was welded to holes drilled into the flat bar. The slope of the ramp had to be considered prior to installing the railing.

  •  We prepped the metal for 3 days prior to painting with PPG Automotive paint.  All masonry was masked out and we painted spindles onsite.  The quality of paint and metal prep allowed us to do this over powdercoating.  The railing was heavy and we felt it would be distorted if we shipped in large pieces.  The installation was much better given the paint on site method.

    We prepped the metal for 3 days prior to painting with PPG Automotive paint. All masonry was masked out and we painted spindles onsite. The quality of paint and metal prep allowed us to do this over powdercoating. The railing was heavy and we felt it would be distorted if we shipped in large pieces. The installation was much better given the paint on site method.

  •  As it turns out the railing was a show stopper.  It matches the neoclassical detailing found on other areas of the building.

    As it turns out the railing was a show stopper. It matches the neoclassical detailing found on other areas of the building.

  •  The clean lines and top flat bar make this railing work.

    The clean lines and top flat bar make this railing work.

  •  Era Architects and Hunt Heritage worked closely to pull off these sensitive changes to a historic landmark.

    Era Architects and Hunt Heritage worked closely to pull off these sensitive changes to a historic landmark.

  •  Exerior restoration - Brick, stone, windows, carpentry, slate and copper.

    Exerior restoration - Brick, stone, windows, carpentry, slate and copper.

  •  John Irwin House was moved onto this

    John Irwin House was moved onto this "table top" shoring. Excavation to expose 5 storeys of parking below.

  •  The house was held up like this until the condo was built up under and beside it.

    The house was held up like this until the condo was built up under and beside it.

  •  Once the chimneys were removed we began the cleaning process.  Steam is used to carefully strip paint off of soft brick.

    Once the chimneys were removed we began the cleaning process. Steam is used to carefully strip paint off of soft brick.

  •  Lead coated copper on top of curved dormer roof.  Slate detail.

    Lead coated copper on top of curved dormer roof. Slate detail.

  •  The approach for the front and rear facades was to remove and flip all the good salvagable brick.  This allowed us to ration the new and existing back into the wall for a more consistent look.

    The approach for the front and rear facades was to remove and flip all the good salvagable brick. This allowed us to ration the new and existing back into the wall for a more consistent look.

  •  Another tuckpointed house!  This should have been tuckpointed as it is a great solution to damaged brick.

    Another tuckpointed house! This should have been tuckpointed as it is a great solution to damaged brick.

  •  All buff brick detailing was left up and we only replaced the red/orange brick.  Buff brick from this era are very durable and did not deteriorate the same way as the red.

    All buff brick detailing was left up and we only replaced the red/orange brick. Buff brick from this era are very durable and did not deteriorate the same way as the red.

  •  (Before)  Keeping the buff detailing in place kept the facade looking original.

    (Before) Keeping the buff detailing in place kept the facade looking original.

  •  (After)  Pictured here are the new wood windows and squint bricks on the bay window.  The original sills were re-used.

    (After) Pictured here are the new wood windows and squint bricks on the bay window. The original sills were re-used.

  •  Slate and lead coated copper look great as a contrast to modern glass and concrete.

    Slate and lead coated copper look great as a contrast to modern glass and concrete.

  •  The south elevation dormers were rebuilt as well as the brick facade.

    The south elevation dormers were rebuilt as well as the brick facade.

  •  Roger did a fantastic job on the custom dormers.  The curved mouldings were done in house.

    Roger did a fantastic job on the custom dormers. The curved mouldings were done in house.

  •  Lead coated copper large cornice and slate for a handsome mansard roof.

    Lead coated copper large cornice and slate for a handsome mansard roof.

  •  This is the project completed.  Another condo is going up on the other side of the lane.

    This is the project completed. Another condo is going up on the other side of the lane.

  •  A very large project that involved paint stripping using steam, arch rebuilding, repointing, structural, windows, and a decorative parapet wall.

    A very large project that involved paint stripping using steam, arch rebuilding, repointing, structural, windows, and a decorative parapet wall.

  •  An original photo we were given to recreate the parapet.

    An original photo we were given to recreate the parapet.

  •  Dundas and Keele Street looking West. 1923 (Street car track workers.)

    Dundas and Keele Street looking West. 1923 (Street car track workers.)

  •  Dundas and Keele during the 1950's.  The paint was white.

    Dundas and Keele during the 1950's. The paint was white.

  •  Dundas and Keele before the restoration 2014.  The building had a lot of paint and needed a lot of brick repairs.

    Dundas and Keele before the restoration 2014. The building had a lot of paint and needed a lot of brick repairs.

  •  System Scaffold and green netting complete.

    System Scaffold and green netting complete.

  •  A nice shot during the restoration.  The building is huge and wraps around Keele Street.

    A nice shot during the restoration. The building is huge and wraps around Keele Street.

  •  Curved brickwork complete with interior

    Curved brickwork complete with interior "key" brick in place for concrete.

  •  Formwork for the curved concrete parapet cap.

    Formwork for the curved concrete parapet cap.

  •  Adrian Working his magic with very hot steam to remove carbon buildup.

    Adrian Working his magic with very hot steam to remove carbon buildup.

  •  Michelle did an amazing job on the arches.

    Michelle did an amazing job on the arches.

  •  Recent photo of the retail restoration complete.

    Recent photo of the retail restoration complete.

Paint stripping wood from the late 1800’s is tedious work but worth saving.
.
.
#heritagehouse #carpentry #traditionaltrades #preservation (at High Park)

Here are some photos of our heritage job off Yonge Street… We completely rebuilt the front and back masonry, as well as both chimneys. The east and west sides were repaired and repointed. The 4 wood dormers and all supporting brackets were recreated in our shop..Kagter has been busy doing a great job on the slate and lead coated copper.

Click on image to enlarge photo.  

We have begun our work on this nice semi off of Bedford Road.  We will be cleaning, replacing brick, rebuilding arches, applying a colour wash and traditionally tuckpointing with a black bead.   More pics to come…

 Our next job near Cabbagetown had 4 layers of paint on the brick.  We removed the paint and found dichromatic brickwork full of Victorian charm.  The arches, belt courses and all the other detailing make this house worth the transformation.

We completed one of our Cabbagetown jobs this past month.  2000 brick were replaced between both semi’s and a complete repointing job using hydraulic lime/sand mortar.  Many of the arches needed to be rebuilt as well.  We will do a final cleaning to remove residual dust after the mortar has had time to cure.

Our restoration work is coming to a close on Crawford St. south of the Annex.  We stripped many layers of paint and carbon with the help of John daRocha from Tecnovia (www.tecnovia.ca).  After he finished we replaced hundreds of brick on the front and rebuilt the 3 porch columns as well as the chimney with custom cap.  This house will look great once the porch is completed.

Preserving your masonry in Toronto

The Toronto Heritage Grant Program:

If you own a home in Toronto that is designated in Parts IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act you may qualify to receive a grant for eligible conservation work up to a maximum of $10,000.00 for individual properties.  This program is administered by the Heritage Preservation Services Unit of the City Planning Division to encourage the conservation of designated heritage properties in the City of Toronto.  For more information please visit: http://www.toronto.ca/heritage-preservation/grants/index.htm

 Are you confused with the use of words like pointingrepointing and tuckpointing? You are not alone as they are constantly misused right across this city.  The term “pointing” refers to a joint that was originally raked out by the mason laying the brick or stone.  This joint was then left to dry and then filled by a highly skilled crew who were capable of applying a decorative finish to the joint.

“Repointing” is referred to replacing a mortar joint when it has failed.  Repointing is the most common form of restoration.

“Tuckpointing” is the most misused term in the trade today.  Examples of tuckpointingcan be found all over Toronto on houses that were built before 1910.  Tuckpointing was a highly skilled art that originated in England in the late 1800’s.  At the time it was fashionable to build with very tight precise joints.  Tuckpointing was born out of this style and was a way of achieving a similar effect using cheap irregular bricks.  These bricks were laid in a matching, usually red, mortar that created an illusion of a solid wall of red clay.  The mason then “tucked” a white lime putty bead ranging from 4mm to 6mm onto a line that was scribed onto the mortar or brick.  This white line, called a “tuck” was very measured and accurate giving the impression that the house was built with very tight joints.  Tuckpointing allowed masons to build with speed and trick the eye into thinking the work was built with precision.  You can find remnants of this style in older neighbouhoods like Cabbagetown and Parkdale.

Masonry Cleaning:

Masonry cleaning is another form of restoration that has become popular with brick building owners.  During the 70’s and 80’s it was popular to sandblast the brick to either remove lead based paint, or years of carbon buildup from atmospheric pollution. Painting brick and sandblasting are considered the worst things you could do to exterior brick.  If the kiln fired weathered exterior of the brick is removed, it’s only a matter of time before the brick begins to crumble or spall as it is often called.  Once the damaged brick has spalled, it can only be replaced rather than repaired.

Cleaning soft masonry is controversial as it is often done with a half hazard approach and can have disastrous results.  Finding a masonry cleaning professional in the city involves doing your homework and sticking to a strict form of guidelines.  If you are considering either removing paint or carbon off the brickwork, I strongly suggest you do some research and find out what chemicals and procedures are required to successfully clean a building.  It is not as simple as going to Home Depot to rent a pressure washer and blast off the years of dirt.  Masonry cleaning is complicated and should be left up to a person who understands the process of site preparation, waste-water containment and the chemicals on the market.  Removing layers of lead based paint has to be one of the dirtiest and dangerous jobs out there.  If you are considering this, I strongly suggest you perform test areas on various areas of the painted surface. Keep in mind that all the harmful waste-water has to be collected and properly disposed of as a hazardous a waste product.  A system of containment troughs that run off into barrels has to be set up and tested with clean water prior to the cleaning process.  Any scaffolding has to be designed with a screen to keep wind from blowing chemical residue off-site.  The workers doing the paint stripping must be completely protected from head to toe as the heavy-duty paint stripper can blind or burn through the skin.  If during the test panels you cannot safely remove the paint with no more than 400 psi (50psi is straight from a hose) then you should consider abandoning the paint removal and consider either repainting again or rebuilding the outer brick façade (a big job).   

There are two cleaning systems called the DOFF and JOS systems that involve steam and various forms of mild abrasive products that are gaining popularity within the commercial restoration sector.  These cleaning systems are far more advanced and should be researched as well.  In Toronto, Goodbye Graffiti is using a steam/chemical free system that safely removes paint.  Steam cleaning can be very effective and better for the environment.  http://www.letsclean.com.au/jos.html

Removing carbon off the brick is much safer and can be controlled as long as specific guidelines are followed during the cleaning process.  Prosoco, out of the U.S., has practically wrote the book on masonry cleaning.  They have a very impressive website that can steer you in the correct direction.  If you are thinking of having this type of cleaning done, they have numerous cleaners like EK Restoration Cleaner, that does not contain hydrochloric or hydrofluoric acid and is safely removed with a near neutral pH coming off the wall.  This cleaner is safer on the surrounding green environment and makes waste water disposal easy.  With all masonry cleaning it is recommended that a pressure washer be only used to rinse the wall at an even spay with no more than 400-600 psi.  Following Prosoco’s cleaning procedures in detail on a per product basis will ensure your brickwork will be cleaned safely.  For further information please visit their site:            www.prosoco.com 

Custom Post Images