Sainte-Marie among the Hurons

Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is a 1960’s reconstruction of a 1639 Jesuit mission. It is a very significant archaeological site. Although this is not a ‘heritage project’ in the normal sense, it requires all the sensibilities of a heritage project. In August 2006, a fire originated in the blacksmith shop and swept through the carpenter shop, chapel and stone bastion. Prior to SBA’s involvement, another consulting firm with no heritage experience was called in and indicated that in order to make the site safe the remaining portions of the blacksmith shop, carpenter shop, and chapel should be demolished. In late September, SBA with the help of David Laird of Halsall Engineering, determined that the walls of all the buildings and two thirds of the chapel roof could be saved. It was also ascertained that the huge blacksmith’s stone fireplace that had previously been condemned, could be preserved. Working closely with Parks Staff, SBA produced an outline scope of work, concept drawings for the reconstruction and eventually the construction documents. The detailing of the original construction was modified to prevent the wood column bases from future wood rot, prevent animals from living within the wall cavities and prevent the possibility of fi re spreading from one building to another. Awards: Grand Valley Construction Association Award of Excellence - 2008