Legislative Assembly of Ontario Building

The Legislative Assembly Building is the first and finest example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in Canada and is of national architectural and historic interest.

In 1990, a conservation plan, led by +VG Architects, was implemented over the next six years. The exterior conservation was one of the largest and most sophisticated stone conservation and roof refurbishment projects ever undertaken in Canada. The project was completed within 3% of estimates prepared at the out.set of the job.

The construction involved scaffolding of large sections of the building for each phase. The scope of the project included replacement of over an acre of slate and copper roof. It required the removal and restoration of over 600 historic wood windows, removal and replacement of all the face mortar and removing and replacement of over 17,000 cubic feet of sandstone. It also involved interior work, as the roof drainage system (cast iron risers buried in the interior walls) had to be replaced in its entirety.

Ordinarily this scale of project and type of construction work would be executed on an unoccupied building. This was not acceptable to the client and the building had to remain fully operational throughout the six year construction schedule. This challenge was compounded by the serious occupational health and safety risks involved with continuous noise, silica dust, volatile organic compounds in paints, caulking materials, lead dust from mortar removal, and pigeon droppings that constitute hazardous material. Stringent safety procedures were set-up and monitored on a continual basis.

The LAO building is presently in its fourth year of a five year masonry and window conservation program which involves analysis of previous conservation activities and continued conservative maintenance.

LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario

CLIENT

Legislative Assembly of Ontario

DESIGNATED

National Historic Site of Canada

COMPLETED

1995-Present

SIZE

575,000 ft²

SERVICES

Conservation & Various Upgrades

AWARDS

1995 Award of Merit
Heritage Toronto


Toronto Old City Hall

Upon completion in 1899, Toronto’s Old City Hall was the largest civic building in North America and home to government officials for 67 years during a time of intense population growth and municipal changes.

Old City Hall is the most significant building designed by architect E. J. Lennox and is the busiest courthouse in Canada, with over 10,000 people circulating within it every day.

Over the past 20 years, +VG has met the building’s challenges of intense public scrutiny and communicating with multiple stakeholder groups while executing the multi-phased conservation project. The conservation work is guided by an initial Building Condition Assessment and the Cultural Heritage Character Statement for Toronto Old City Hall.

Toronto Old City Hall ongoing work includes numerous ongoing conservation projects and building upgrades which began in 1991. Work has to be carefully scheduled to meet requirements for courtroom scheduling. +VG recently completed work on a $34 million upgrade to the building’s heating and ventilation system, introducing new systems within all spaces of the occupied courthouse, and is currently working on security upgrades at 60 Queen Street West.

LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario

CLIENT

City of Toronto

DESIGNATED

National Historic Site of Canada; Ontario Heritage Act, Part IV

COMPLETED

1991-Present

SIZE

325,000 ft²

AWARDS

2010 North American Copper in Architecture Award; Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association
2005 Architecture & Urban Design Award (Honourable Mention); City of Toronto
2000 Certificate of Commendation; Heritage Toronto
1996 Certificate of Commendation; Heritage Toronto

SERVICES

Conservation & Various Upgrades


St. Michael's Cathedral Exterior Envelope & Tower

Between 2010 and 2017, as part of the Masterplan for the rehabilitation of St. Michael’s Cathedral, +VG Architects undertook a comprehensive, phased building envelope conservation project on the landmark 1847 Gothic Revival building.

All exterior building elements and systems were addressed, including traditional slate roofing, brick and sandstone masonry, metalwork and wood windows and structural elements. Beginning in 2010 with the West Facade and Tower, the work continued around the exterior over the next 6 years. Initial surveying, testing and analysis was done to assess and define the scope of Conservation work required. Further and more extensive investigative work was done from scaffolding, before decisions were made on a case by case basis for the appropriate conservation and repair methodology for each building element. Detailed conservation work such as fine cleaning, consolidation, and detailed repairs to maintain and stabilize the intricate carved sandstone were carried out on all of the many decorative stone features.

Structural stabilization of the original wood structural members, and of high-level masonry elements such as Gothic pinnacles, Stone Crosses and Carved Cornice stones was required. Where appropriate, restoration of lost detail was carried out- for example at the Upper Tower where conditions were extremely deteriorated and major interventions were required to stabilize and make safe the masonry; and, on the roofing where a version of the original slate roofing pattern, previously removed- was restored on the replacement roof.

The ability to react to unforeseen conditions, and to work closely with Conservators, Structural Engineers and Tradespeople were essential to ensure that the needs of the Client were met, and the historic fabric of the building is preserved and maintained for future generations. The work has been carried out to the highest of international conservation standards, with the aim being to always meet or exceeded the Parks Canada Guidelines for the Repair of Historic Places in every aspect. The Work has received recognition with Heritage Toronto awards in 2013 and 2017, as well as having been shortlisted for the Best International project at the Brick Awards in London, England in 2013.

LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario

CLIENT

Archdiocese of Toronto

DESIGNATED

Ontario Heritage Act, Part IV, Section 29

COMPLETED

2017

SIZE

22,400 ft²

AWARDS

2017 Craftsmanship & Conservation Award (Nave & East Chancel Window); Heritage Toronto
2013 Craftsmanship Award (Honourable Mention) (West Façade & Tower Conservation); Heritage Toronto
2007 Craftsmanship Award; Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP)

SERVICES

Master Planning & Conservation


Smith School of Business Executive Education Suite, Queen's University

This project is an interior conversion and fit-up of former office space on the 30th floor of a downtown high-rise, located on Front Street West in Toronto.

The design takes advantage of spectacular views over Lake Ontario. Finishes were consistent with a corporate feel appropriate for the Queen’s University Smith School of Business image. Work was completed to a high standard of quality on a very compressed schedule that utilized a Construction Manager and sequential tendering to allow work to begin prior to completion of all aspects of the design.

  • The initial phase involved fit-up of approx. 7,000 ft² and included:
  • An 80 seat tiered classroom, fully wired for “state of the art” audio/visual teaching technologies, which is convertible to a reception area and event space
  • Three video conference rooms
  • Five meeting rooms
  • Administrative office space
  • Reception area and refreshment/staging kitchen

The second phase included expansion of the suite to add:

  • A 30 seat classroom
  • Boardroom
  • Three meeting rooms
  • Student study space
  • Event kitchen

The third and final phase entails fit-up of the balance of the 30th floor comprising of 25,000 ft². The phase three program includes:

  • A second 80 seat tiered classroom
  • An additional video conference room
  • A relocated and expanded office area
  • Various staff and student meeting rooms
  • A large flexible ‘crush space’ for student study and receptions
  • Supplementary washroom facilities
  • A new ‘stand alone’ HVAC system serving the 30th floor

LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario

CLIENT

Queen’s University

COMPLETED

2017

SIZE

25,000 ft²

SERVICES

Tenant Fit-Up/Interior Renovation


Granite Ridge Education Centre

In 2010, the Limestone District School Board completed a comprehensive ARC process and Condition Assessments of the family of schools surrounding the Sharbot Lake Community.

To address significant declining enrollment, the Board embarked on a plan to merge three existing Elementary Schools and the Sharbot Lake High School into a single, new K–12 facility.

The new school is located on the site of the existing high school, and while the 54,000 m² site at first appeared large enough to easily support this new building, steep terrain, natural wetlands, and existing development restricted the new building to a limited footprint.

The resulting design was a three-storey school building with a second floor gymnasium that pushes into a treed limestone hillside. The academic wing was organized with Kindergartens on the ground floor, elementary classrooms on the second floor, and secondary classrooms occupying the upper floor. Because of the rural nature of Sharbot Lake, the School Board recognized the new facility would function as a community hub as part of the design process. +VG engaged community stakeholders, such as the Sharbot Lake Little Theatre, to ensure the design could accommodate these needs, as well as the academic needs of the Limestone District School Board.

+VG Architects successfully facilitated a series of design meetings, cognizant of the underlying tensions still present as a result of the many difficult decisions the committee had to make during the ARC process. Building a trust relationship with the committee first by acknowledging their difficult work to date, and then focusing on the opportunities ahead, was key to the success of the Schematic Design process.

LOCATION

Sharbot Lake, Ontario

CLIENT

Limestone District School Board (LDSB)

COMPLETED

January 2014

SIZE

65,000 ft²

CAPACITY

550 FTS

SERVICES

New Replacement School


St. Peter Catholic Elementary School & St. Paul Catholic Secondary School

In 2009, +VG Architects was retained to continue the work of the ARC process the ALCDSB had began in 2006.

This included a Condition Assessment of the existing St. Peter Catholic Elementary School. +VG assessed the architectural feasibility of Final Recommendations 3 and 4 of the Accommodation Review Committee. The recommendations under review included the construction of a new St. Peter Catholic Elementary School on the site of the existing St. Paul Catholic Secondary School, as well as an addition to St. Paul Secondary School to accommodate Grade 7 & 8 students. +VG successfully facilitated a series of design meetings while being cognizant of the underlying tensions still present as a result of the many difficult decisions the committee had to make during the ARC process. Building a trust relationship with the committee first by acknowledging their difficult work to date and then focusing on the opportunities, was key to the success of the project.

The project has resulted in a reinvigorated education facility now known as the Quite West Catholic Campus. The existing secondary school building was added to, creating new specialized classrooms for fine arts, instrumental and vocal music, and fitness. The gymnasium was completely refurbished and seven regular classrooms were added to accommodate a change to a Grades 7 to 12 learning environment.

A new 1-storey, 25,000 square foot new elementary school is co-located on the site servicing a student population of 300 from Junior kindergarten to Grade 6. The two facilities work together and take advantage of the opportunity to share public spaces, such as two sports fields, two gymnasiums, and a chapel for special events and community activities. Even with the increased build-out, the project was able to maintain a wooded area at the south end of the property that both schools use to support environmental education programs.

LOCATION

Trenton, Ontario

CLIENT

Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB)

COMPLETED

January 2014

SIZE

44,132 ft²

CAPACITY

300 FTS (St. Peter)
470 FTS (St. Paul)

SERVICES

New Construction of an Elementary School on an Existing Secondary School Site


St. Michael Catholic Elementary School

In 2007, St. Michael CES had a student enrolment of approximately 400 FTE students.

The original building, built in 1908 and 1913, had been added to again in the 1950’s and 1970’s to accommodate, at its pinnacle, a total student enrolment of 650. +VG Architects led a school Planning Accommodation Review Committee process with the Board and School Community to help clarify academic needs and facilitate the transition to a new facility right-sized for their current and projected enrolments. Key in this process was sincere listening to the concerns of the school community while reinforcing the opportunities available to augment academic and community program spaces not achievable within the existing facility.

The process resulted in the unanimous approval of the final design approach that would see the implementation of full day kindergarten, enhanced facilities for physical education and computer literacy, classroom technology improvements, and improved non-core program elements such as larger rejuvenated play yards and space for “Before and After” childcare facilities.

The re-construction of St. Michael’s School occurred within an occupied facility on a tight urban site.

LOCATION

Belleville, Ontario

CLIENT

Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB)

COMPLETED

2012

SIZE

39,000 ft²

CAPACITY

400 FTS

SERVICES

Reconstruction


Milton Central Public Library

Part of the Milton Centre for the Arts, the main Library complements the vision of the Milton Public Library Board for their service delivery model.

The Library includes space for: Broad, in-depth collections; Resources and programs; Children’s program room; Computer training and study rooms; Seating (including silent study space); and Workstations.

The project has consolidated the program into a single destination on the second floor. There are two main studios, one for adults and one for children. Main programming features of the Library include: Administration area including offices and staff lounge; Check out, central lobby, and central concession areas; Program, silent study and group study rooms; Children’s collection and reading areas; Fiction and non-fiction collections areas; and Washroom facilities and ancillary service uses.

The Library is part of a larger renovation project for the Milton Centre for the Arts which includes two theatre spaces: the Mattamy Theatre, a 500 seat theatre (21,000 ft2); and the adjacent Minmaxx Hall, a 200 seat multi-use theatre space which can be used as a performance space, private event space, or rehearsal space for the main theatre.

LOCATION

Milton

CLIENT

Town of Milton

COMPLETED

2011

SIZE

27,240 ft²

LEED

LEED® Silver Certified

SERVICES

New Construction (Design/Build)

AWARDS

2012 PRO Award of Excellence in Design, Parks & Recreation Ontario