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No. 15019

Canada’s Four Corners

An Exercise in Conservation
Ottawa Heritage Award of Merit 2019
Category: Restoration
The Canada’s Four Corners Building, constructed in 1870, is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building located at the prominent intersection of Metcalfe and Sparks Streets in Ottawa. RMA+SH completed the conservation of the exterior façade and roof of the building, as well as major emergency upgrades to the building envelope.
Photo: Gordon King
Photo: Gordon King
During investigations, we found many points of instability in the existing masonry, some so extreme it led to our recommendation that the building be evacuated immediately. Based on a review of archived photos from the National Library, photogrammetric drawings, and laser measurements, we developed a project specific survey, investigation, and testing strategy as well as a cost estimate for the proposed investigations. We also conducted a hands-on condition assessment, exploratory openings, and additional testing such as paint analysis and thermography.
Photo: RMA+SH
Hands-on access to the building envelope allowed us to take moisture readings, dimensional measurements and profiles, sound the masonry units, determine the extent of cracks, fractures, and failed mortar joints, and examine the condition of the windows, flashings, and sealants to determine overall and element-specific repair needs.
Photo: RMA+SH
Photo: RMA+SH
After careful diagnosis, the building was stabilized with large steel supports and a thorough upgrade was undertaken for the exterior masonry rehabilitation and interior support systems. Through this intervention, the building will be able to serve for another hundred years.
Photo: Gordon King
“This was a real detective job, with meticulous research done at both the National Archives and the National Library to aid the restoration process.”
Architect: RMA+SH architects
Structural: John G. Cooke and Associated Ltd.
Mechanical & Electrical: Stantec Consulting Ltd.
Masonry Conservator: Trevor Gillingwater
Window Conservator: Craig Sims
Sheet Metal Contractor: Heather + Little Ltd.
Lighting Designer: LightInForm
Pre-Design Studies (Rehabilitation Options), Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Drawings, Construction Administration