Heritage Week 2022
Architectural Conservancy Ontario – London Region
Heritage London Foundation
are proud to present the 15th annual London Heritage Awards
Congratulations to the 2022 honourees!
Long-term Contribution Award – Jennifer Grainger
Jennifer Grainger is recognized this year for her outstanding contributions to local and regional history as a researcher and author over many years, and for her fearless leadership in both the London and Middlesex Historical Society and the London branch of Architectural Conservancy Ontario.
Jennifer brings to her writing and research a wealth and depth of historical knowledge. She holds an M.A. in Archaeology from the University of London, and a Masters of Library and Information Science from Western University. She is a past-president of both the London and Middlesex Historical Society and ACO’s London Region branch, and for many years has been a passionate and determined advocate for heritage preservation.
The author of Vanished Villages of Middlesex and Vanished Villages of Elgin (Dundurn Press) and Early London 1826-
1914, Jennifer also edited Honouring Our Roots: Delaware and Westminster Townships. Her most recent works are the two volumes of London Free Press: From the Vault (Biblioasis). She also writes a heritage blog Jenny’s London & Southwestern Ontario.
Heritage Professional Award – Gerald Gallacher
Gerald Gallacher died last year at the peak of his career, and his loss has been felt acutely not only by his family, but by the architectural community of London. Gerald is remembered and recognised tonight for his many contributions as an architect in London, not least of which was his leading role in designing the adaptation of the Info Tech building on Ridout Street. That project was honoured by a London Heritage Award in 2019, and by a London Urban Design Award (and the People’s Choice Award) in 2021.
Another project of Gerald’s is this magnificent Centre at the Forks where we are spending our time tonight. He also designed prominent heritage projects in Toronto.
Gerald was also a local leader, giving tours of, and presentations about, the projects mentioned above. He was a member of the City of London Urban Design Peer Review Panel, and the Chair of the Board of the London Downtown Business Association.
Commendation – 504 English Street – Maverick Real Estate Inc. – Craig Hansford
The developer is commended for his effort to produce a sympathetic design for this recently built four-unit dwelling. The site presented design challenges, situated as it was in a Heritage Conservation District in Old East Village. The developer worked closely with the City of London heritage planner to create a design that increased the density on the lot, yet was sympathetic to the surrounding streetscape. Two accessible units, entered through a splendidly evocative front door, occupy the ground floor. The two upper units are reached from the rear of the building. With the use of decorative brick, the period-style front door and the sheltering front porch, this project fits admirably into the historic streetscape of English Street.
Cultural Landscape Award – Lorne Avenue Park – City of London
Built on the site of the recently demolished Lorne Avenue Public School, the new Lorne Avenue Park is a community achievement involving collaboration from groups and individuals and resulting from numerous meetings, both
at the planning stage and at the design stage.
The bell from the original 1875 Lorne Avenue School and the aluminum letters of the second school are given a prominent position at the welcoming entrance to the park on English Street. This design is unique, with a strong historical and educational theme throughout. In addition, care has been taken to provide a community-minded and ecologically-sensitive public amenity, with an eco-lawn, rain garden, accessible trails, seating areas, an insect hotel, and a sensory garden.
Julie Michaud, Landscape Architect; Jeff Bruin, Manager, Parks Development and Design; Frank Filice, Old East Village Community Association representative
Small-scale Restoration Project – 20 Grosvenor Street – Emily Yu and Chen Ling
Replacing the decayed and damaged windows on this historic house with replicas successfully ensures that the house retains its heritage appearance.
Windows are frequently overlooked as a heritage feature and are too often replaced with vinyl ones, substitutes that completely change the character of a building. The following is an excerpt from the 1992 Reasons for Designation for 20 Grosvenor Street:
“This handsome Queen Anne dwelling, built in 1892 was first used as the Rectory for the church of St. John the Evangelist. The house is a fine example of the Victorian aesthetic achieved in London between 1880 and 1900 … Decorative brick coursing highlights the second storey windows. The house is also marked by a generous use of stained glass and a variety of window treatments such as segmental arched, oculus and an example of the keyhole window characteristic of London”.
Note that windows are mentioned repeatedly in this description, and it is, therefore, most appropriate that the owners have been meticulous in their treatment of them.
Small-scale Restoration Project – 550 English Street – Melanie Caldwell
The restoration of the central gable of this historic cottage helped to re-establish the authenticity of the building and provided an enhancement to the streetscape.
The owners removed the aluminum siding that covered the gable of the cottage, with the intention of replicating heritage features. They found that the bargeboard, the shingle infill, and wooden window surround were still intact and could be refurbished. They added an appropriate period finial to enhance the existing features.
The owner’s reaction when notified of the award is worth quoting:
“When I embarked on the task of restoring the gable of my 1892 Ontario cottage in the Old East Village, it was a project of love and admiration for the original character of these founding neighbourhoods in our city; I wish I could restore every little cottage I come across.”
Small-scale Restoration Project – 6 Cartwright Street – Leif Harmsen and Mario Longtin
Built c. 1869-70 this Ontario cottage was constructed in stages on a shallow pier-and-beam foundation. It is an unusual Ontario cottage in that it is asymmetrical, which allows for a large, impressive parlour that is far more opulent than one would expect for a worker’s cottage of this modest scale. To this day, the parlour and dining room retain their elaborate Italianate ceiling plasterwork, original mouldings, and doors.
The original windows, now refinished, had been painted shut and protected by many layers of lead paint and aluminum trim. Most of the glass is original, as are the hardwood floors that were hidden under layers of decomposing carpet, linoleum, and underlay. The exterior yellow clay brick veneer had been abused: dyed red, painted white, painted green, then entirely covered with aluminium siding. The brick, now liberated from the aluminum, the strapping, the paint and some of the dye, emerged as a curiously uneven pinky-orange. The front gable sports the cottage’s most distinctive feature, a fabulous floral hardwood carving!
Small-scale Restoration Project – 16 Marley Place – Greg and Wendy Lanctot
The complete and painstaking re-painting of the exterior of 16 Marley Place and the careful restoration of its original windows and delicate decorative detail was a labour of love.
This charming Gothic Revival house, built in 1880, exhibits many of the features of the style, including metal cresting and decorative woodwork that have been painstakingly restored, repaired, and refurbished by the owner himself. From a utilitarian all-white exterior the house has been transformed and has been returned to its Victorian sensibility with the woodwork accented in contrasting yet harmonious colours.
It is a fine example of refurbishment that constantly references all the original features. It is also an example to the neighbourhood that provides a striking landmark in the area, adding interest and depth to the streetscape.
Adaptive Re-use Project – The Chuch House in Birr – Lisa Constantine and Anthony Alexander
This adaptation of a historic church into a modern, convenient and attractive family retreat is notable for maintaining the form and exterior of the original building and for preserving heritage features and architectural details throughout.
There has been a church on or near this site since the 1830s. The conversion of this 1901 United Church building uses the original structure, keeping and conserving the interior roof beams, exterior walls, brickwork, doorways, and window openings. The home has been enhanced with the addition of a striking full-height glass atrium to the rear, a beautifully landscaped garden that complements the form of the building, and new “un-stained” glass windows in original apertures. A pair of custom-made front doors was created to echo the design of these new windows. This stunning adaptation displays the skill of an accomplished architect alongside the construction expertise that the owners received from a family member during the restoration process.
Architects: Skinner and Skinner Architects. Contractors: Rebel Creek Construction
Major Restoration and Expansion Project – St. Peter’s Seminary, 1040 Waterloo Street – The Diocese of London
The extensive restoration, adaptation, and expansion of this Collegiate Gothic masterpiece has been undertaken with deep respect for its past, and with thoughtful understanding of the needs of contemporary and future seminarians.
The seminary was built of Credit Valley stone in 1936. Since then it has been home to numerous seminarians who lived in rather small dark cells along gloomy corridors. In order to provide more salubrious surroundings for contemporary students and to expand the access to the building by King’s University College for classroom use, the Diocese embarked on the massive project in 2017.
The result is a light-filled haven containing rooms that are far more pleasant and practical for the students from all over Canada who study there. Terazzo flooring and oak-trimmed doorways in the new addition refer back to the original, but the HVAC systems have been updated and many windows replaced, so the building is now more energy efficient. The project is a highly successful example of subtle change that makes vast improvements.
Architect: Allan Avis Architects. General Contractors: Bronnenco Construction of London.
Congratulations to all honourees, and thank you so much for your tremendous work to keep London’s roots alive and on display. Preserving our heritage is not always an easy task, but it is always worthwhile.