St. Francis of Assisi

Originally designed by Arthur William Homes in 1914, the construction of St. Francis of Assisi was completed in 1915.

Located in the heart of Little Italy, the church accommodates 900 people. The Nave, composed of a sequence of vaulted ceilings, allows daylight to come in through the stained glass windows, generating an array of colours as you navigate the space.

As part of the intervention, a new slate roof was installed and the plaster ceiling was completely restored. The interior paint scheme was restored to a monochromatic paint scheme from 1945 to allow the colours from the stained glass windows to be magnified within the Nave. The decoration intensifies in the Transepts and into the Sanctuary to emphasize the importance of that sacred space and the beauty of the East stained glass window. The entire Sanctuary area was restored to its original design with the reconstruction of the wood reredos screen as the backdrop of the Altar and the removal of the mosaic wall installed in 1972 during a previous intervention that concealed the East wall. The East stained glass window was reinstated to its original glory and two Guido Nincheri frescos were unveiled and restored along with all the East wall artwork. The restoration of the coffered ceiling artwork over the Sanctuary was donated by a parishioner of the Italian community in memory of his late wife, proving this project to be essential to the community and possessing immense value to its parishioners.

LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario

CLIENT

Archdiocese of Toronto

DESIGNATED

Ontario Heritage Listed Building

COMPLETED

2018

SIZE

11,530 ft²

SERVICES

Restoration


Lennox & Addington Courthouse & Administrative Offices

Phase I of the project included a Space Needs and Facilities Assessment to review current and long term (25 years) program requirements for the County’s administration and an assessment of five campus buildings currently housing County Staff.

The study included recommendations for immediate and long range remedial work and accommodation planning.
Phase II involved a Conservation Report Study to identify significant heritage features of the historic Napanee Courthouse, detailed condition assessment, including destructive analysis and recommended restoration measures, including cost estimates.

Phase III involved the Restoration and Addition of the exterior and interior of the historic Courthouse and construction of new addition to accommodate consolidated County administration offices and court facilities.

LOCATION

Napanee, Ontario

CLIENT

County of Lennox & Addington

COMPLETED

1999

SERVICES

Renovation & Addition


Hamilton POA Courthouse

+VG Architects served as the Prime Consultant, in association with Invizij Architects, to deliver all consulting services required for the design and construction of this renovation and energy modernization project which was performed through a Construction Management model.

The project includes the integration of a heating and cooling retrofit through the Hamilton Utility Corporation (“HUC”) designed independently by H.H. Angus and Associates Consulting Engineers. The design conforms to the City’s Barrier Free Design Guidelines.

The Art Deco building was previously occupied by McMaster University as a tenant. The project intent was to convert the heritage building to provide a functional space for the Provincial Offences Administration (POA) offices, as well as all necessary courtrooms and ancillary spaces for both staff and the public, and additional administrative offices for the Ontario Municipal Board and City of Hamilton staff, and to accommodate future growth.

Work to protect and preserve the historic elements of the building was guided by City of Hamilton Heritage Resource Management. The majority of the work focused on the interior renovation of the facility, but some exterior work was required to comply with accessibility and police vehicular turning radius requirements.

LOCATION

Hamilton, Ontario

CLIENT

City of Hamilton

COMPLETED

2017

SIZE

112,000 ft²

SERVICES

Renovation & Energy Modernization


Hamilton City Hall

Hamilton City Hall was designed in the modernist International Style by Canada’s first municipally-employed architect, Stanley M. Roscoe.

Constructed in 1960, it has become one of the few intact examples of this style of architecture in Canada, and exemplifies a progressive movement away from the Victorian historicism of Hamilton at the time. Attributes of the International Style found in the design include: massing and geometry, open interior plan, structural grid system and the use of curtain wall, flat roofs, finishing materials of steel, concrete and marble, and the integration of art (as opposed to ornamentation) into the design.

The 2010 heritage rehabilitation of this modernist International Style building included:

  • Relocation of services to the main floor to provide greater ease of access for the public
  • Improvements to the building’s energy performance by insulating exterior walls, and installation of high efficiency mechanical systems
  • Upgrades to meet current OBC requirements including barrier free accessibility
  • Replacement of major building services and integration of contemporary technology

Challenges of the Heritage Conservation Plan:

  • Integration of new building systems while respecting the heritage building fabric
  • Replacement of exterior marble cladding with more durable cladding due to life safety and structural stability concerns caused by deterioration of the original marble in the southern Ontario climate
  • Protection and restoration of Italian glass mosaic tile used extensively on exterior soffits, spandrel panels, and fascia, and interior walls and ceilings
  • Protection and restoration of terrazzo flooring, interior wood paneling and doors, luminescent stone panels, marble interior paneling, aluminum handrails and guards, and curtain wall
  • Conservation of interior art murals including cleaning, protection and relocation of one mural
  • Rehabilitation of the Council Chambers with dome skylight

LOCATION

Hamilton, Ontario

CLIENT

City of Hamilton

DESIGNATED

Ontario Heritage Act, Part IV

COMPLETED

2010

SIZE

180,000 ft²

SERVICES

Heritage Consulting Services for Rehabilitation


School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto

The School of Graduate Studies Administrative Offices are located in two century houses: 63 St. George and 65 St. George Street, built in 1872 and 1891.

Both buildings are listed on the City of Toronto’s heritage registry and required a sensitive approach to renovation that would provide modern office amenity while maintaining the distinctive heritage character of the two buildings.

The School of Graduate Studies defines and administers University-wide regulations for graduate education and represents the cause of graduate education at the University of Toronto.

The primary project goal was to create better space for graduate students to interface with the administration, with student common space, counselling and consultation space, and oral defense rooms that provided a more welcoming and dignified atmosphere.

The project commenced with an evaluation of the School’s Functional Program and space planning template to test options for improved organization and workspace efficiency. The building had been extensively modified over time and many of the rooms were awkwardly planned with poor circulation and ad-hoc provisions that severely compromised the quality of space. In particular, the HVAC and lighting systems were in need of improvement to meet a modern day Administration Office standard. The renovation scope of work included:

  • Rework of partitions and layout to support the program and respect original building layout
  • Provided new centralized HVAC system through entire building
  • New limited ceiling installations as required to support HVAC work while preserving plaster heritage cornices
  • Revised Building Exiting to allow for the removal of one existing fire escape stair
  • AODA compliant Accessibility measures throughout the first floor of the building.
  • New Interior Finishes including preservation of significant historic finishes
  • Heritage window replacement

LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario

CLIENT

University of Toronto

DESIGNATED

City of Toronto Listed Heritage Site

COMPLETED

2017

SIZE

10,000 ft² (63 St. George Street)
6,500 ft² (65 St. George Street)

SERVICES

Renovation & Restoration


Lennox & Addington Museum & Archives

The County Museum and Archives is adjacent to the County’s stately limestone Courthouse, restored by +VG Architects in 1996. The museum, an 1864 limestone building, was, until 1971, the county jail.

In 2002, the County retained +VG Architects to provide architectural consulting and museum planning services to carry out a review of the Museum and Archives structural and functional components, such as service delivery and accessibility, in order to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the Museum operation for the 21st Century. One of the major goals of the study was to find ways to accommodate more flexible space for student activity, education programs, and multi-purpose needs.

In Spring 2009, +VG was asked to revisit the study to review the program against current needs and update project costing in anticipation of proceeding with implementation of the Museum and Archives Master Plan vision later in 2009. In 2011, +VG was retained to design the expansion to the existing Archives building. We were chosen for the expertise and experience with designing institutional buildings within historical contexts.

The expansion includes new activity and educational program areas, public washrooms, relocated Research Room and Archival Storage, multi-purpose space, storage space in the basement, and a new one-storey gallery addition.

The historical setting of the property as a whole, represented a unique challenge. In order to fully appreciate this setting, it was imperative that the development of the property be designed in harmony with both the topography of the site and the existing heritage fabric, so that the historical beauty of the existing building and natural open area of the site will continue to be the dominant features. To accomplish this, careful consideration has been given to the size and siting of the building, the architecture of the new intervention in regards to the choice of cladding materials, and in maintaining as much as possible of the property in its natural current state.

LOCATION

Napanee, Ontario

CLIENT

County of Lennox & Addington

COMPLETED

2014

SIZE

12,000 ft²

SERVICES

Study, Renovation & Addition


Kingston Pump House Steam Museum

The Kingston Pump House Museum is a demonstration of the original waterworks that served the City of Kingston in the 19th Century.

The Pump House is located in one of Canada’s oldest original water works – where steam-powered pumps provided the first running water to Kingston residents from 1851. Only six similar preserved water pumping stations remain in North America

The assignment involved an addition to house workshops, arrival and orientation space for school groups, new accessible washrooms and office areas, as well as renovations to the existing historic building.

LOCATION

Kingston, Ontario

CLIENT

City of Kingston

COMPLETED

2017

SIZE

9,200 ft²

SERVICES

Renovation & Addition


St. John's Chapel Atrium, St. Michael's Cathedral

The St. John’s Chapel Atrium is +VG’s contemporary addition to the complex of heritage buildings from different eras, which together, make up the St. Michael’s Cathedral site.

Above grade, the Atrium is a modern multipurpose space, creating a cloister-like link between the 1890s Chapel, the administrative and residential accommodation of the 1845 Rectory, and the early 20th Century Sacristies – the ancillary spaces serving the main worship space of the Cathedral Nave. On the exterior, the palette of materials has been carefully chosen to complement that of the existing buildings and maintain the continuity between the different eras represented on site. The interior is simple and reverent, with fair-faced concrete block, wood and slate providing a backdrop to the conserved west façade of St. John’s Chapel and a stained-glass window, relocated from its original home in the Cathedral’s Narthex, which are highlighted as the main visual features of the space. The west façade opens out through tall glazed doors onto a summer terrace under a glass canopy, creating a transitional space between the Atrium interior and the quiet gardens of the Rectory.

Below grade, the Atrium addition contains a new 3,000 ft² basement housing a state-of-the-art Central Utilities plant, providing modern heating, cooling and power systems which have been discretely distributed and integrated throughout the whole complex. This coordination and integration of services has been a key part of +VG’s work at St. Michael’s Cathedral, maintaining the character-defining qualities of the existing heritage buildings, while providing them with the environmental control and high-tech infrastructure of a modern facility, all of which must have been unthinkable at the time the Cathedral was originally built.

LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario

CLIENT

Archdiocese of Toronto

DESIGNATED

Ontario Heritage Act, Part IV, Section 29

COMPLETED

2018

SIZE

4,800 ft²

SERVICES

Renovation & Addition