Fort York is a National Historic Site of Canada with has Canada’s largest collection of War of 1812 Buildings. The 3.4 hectare site contains 7 original buildings and is surrounded by a dry limestone rampart and berms. SBA was commissioned to complete a comprehensive Condition Assessment and Conservation Plan for the Brick Magazine, Officers’ Barracks and Mess, and stone ramparts to ensure a high standard of maintenance was maintained. Based on the developed phased Conservation Plan, SBA has completed multiple projects throughout the site.
The conservation of the Officers’ Mess’ included extensive plaster repairs, structural reinforcements, mechanical retrofit, and stone masonry conservation in the wine vaults. The work within the Brick Magazine included structural roof framing and wood repairs to columns, floors, doors, stairs and finishes. For both buildings, a total of 40 wood hung/casement windows (6 window types) were reglazed, repaired and conserved. In addition to the conservation work, SBA redesigned the lighting and finishes to the upper level of the Magazine for short term interpretive exhibits.
Within the East Blockhouse, SBA designed a new glazed vestibule to replace the previous wood vestibule, the new vestibule was designed to minimize its visual impact to maintain the emphasis on the heritage attributes of the building. The modifications also included mechanical/electrical upgrades, and conservation of the plank door.
Other projects on the site included the cladding conservation of the Blue Barracks, reconstruction of the log cannon embrasures, and stone repairs to the rampart walls at the forts main entrance.
As Fort York is a fully operational museum, the project team had to take into consideration the requirement that the fort remain in use and open to the public throughout the construction periods. Access to site and adjacent buildings had to be maintained at all times and work coordinated to minimize disruption to the Fort staff and visitors.