City of Windsor announces 2022 Built Heritage Awards

As part of its’ Doors Open festival, the City of Windsor Built Heritage Awards has announced five recipients of its 2022 Built Heritage Awards.  

One of the awards goes to Mackenzie Hall. An integrated conservation team of GBCA and Studio g+G Architects provided forensic analysis, construction/restoration documents, and oversight of the masonry rehabilitation project.

Photo credits: Jason Grossi

Constructed in 1855, Mackenzie Hall is recognized as one of the first heritage-designated properties in Windsor. It is named after the second prime minister of Canada , Alexander Mackenzie, as he and his brother were the builders of the Hall.  The architect was A.H. Jordan. Both architect and builder names were engraved onto the building.

The Hall was extensively renovated in the 1980s – this included the addition of a stone clad extension along the south side of the original building. The 1980s repairs introduced inappropriate hard cementitious mortars which ultimately caused severe deterioration to the stone walling and decay at the wood windows, which lled to the recent repair needs.

The work on Mackenzie Hall presented a unique opportunity to the architectural team of GBCA and Studio g+G to provide expert advice to the building owner – the City of Windsor.

Photo credits: Jason Grossi

The initial scope described in the City’s original Request for Proposal was to replace the deteriorated windows. However, following the team’s investigations, the architects were able to redirect the project to address the underlying problem of the rotting wood windows – the underlying problem being the moisture retention in the stone walls due to the 1980s wall assemblies and mortar.  

“In heritage consulting, we work within the legacy of others,” says Christopher Borgal, President and Senior Principal of GBCA. “In the Mackenzie Hall project, we had to span a century of work–from the 1880s to the 1980s – to prepare a holistic and comprehensive technical approach for the rehabilitation and repair of the envelope.”

Founding Principal of Studio G+g, Jason Grossi says,: “At Studio G+g the true meaning of our work is what we have to give and leave behind. We always try to design with thoughtful integrity so that our buildings will endure and be loved – and doing that in my home town of Windsor just makes it better! I am honoured our work has been recognized by my community. 

Photo credits: Jason Grossi

The other winners are:

1008 Drouillard Road

The property owner (Kyle McDonald) and project team (Archon Architects) removed the cornice that was original to the building and the canopy fixture that was obscuring views into the storefront. Wall plates were used to reinforce the building which matched well with the individual lettering of the signage for the storefront. The windows replaced on the second floor imitated some of the proportions of the original windows in their horizontal and vertical alignments. The previously bricked-in storefront on the ground floor was removed to introduce a compatible storefront glazing system with imitation of transom at upper portions. The treatment of the building is appropriate for the Mainstreet context and enhances character of Ford City/Drouillard Road. The retail tenant (City Cyclery) has also added much interest and activity to the area.

Hiram Walker (Peche Island) Bridge Restoration

The Peche Island Bridge is known on the Windsor Municipal Heritage Register as the Hiram Walker Bridge & Canal, constructed c, 1892, and was built provide transportation to Hiram Walker’s summer residence on Peche Island. The bridge featured wing walls, corbels, brackets and balustrades in classical style. Over the years, the reinforced concrete bridge has deteriorated and in 2018, Parks Design & Development Department staff (led by Darron Ahlstedt, Project Manager) begun the project of conducting repairs to the bridge. The historic sensitivity of the bridge was taken into consideration at the project start, with PJ Material Consultants (specialty materials consultants) hired to conduct a Condition Assessments of the Bridge, launched a project guided according to the Standards & Guidelines for Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. In addition to the structural reinforcements that were needed at the girder and corbels, the repair methods, materials and their finishes were evaluated through mock-ups to visually blend with the historic appearance. Besides the heritage considerations, the project team also had to work around tight timelines for in-stream work, and different governing bodies for environmental and species considerations. The project was successfully completed through the collaborative efforts of the project team, which also included Landmark Engineers Inc. and contractors Facca Incorporated.


1785 Walker Road- Teron Building

The property is listed on the Windsor Municipal Heritage Register as the Teron building, constructed in c.1949 in simple Art Deco Streamlined architecture style. Previous ownerships vacated the property and the building was at risk of being requested for demolition. The current owner, Scott Woodall, purchased the vacant industrial/office building in December 2019 with the intention of keeping and investing in it to create new business office units and a development facility. As the building was in poor shape at time of purchase, extensive work went into the transformation of the property, including over $2-million in structural upgrades, roofing, brick pointing, and interior and exterior renovations. New glazing consistent with the architectural style of the building was installed, as well as a faux canopy metal band stretching across the building which highlighted and enhanced the horizontal streamlined style. As the sides of the building were originally constructed of cement blocks, new siding with an appropriate colour scheme was used to reduce water penetration into the building. The project team included ADA Architects and Lester Group.

225 Giles Boulevard W.- William T. Wesgate House

Kathleen Pistor is a long-time wwner and steward of this heritage-designated property. The property sits on the corner of Giles Boulevard W and Victoria Avenue, and features a distinctive red tile roof amongst other Colonial Revival features. The roof was in need of repair or risk of replacement and with the challenge of materials and tradespeople, a less heritage-conscientious owner would have changed the roof to another material. The owner spent intensive efforts sourcing for reclaimed clay tiles with the correct dimensions and appropriate colour match for the tile repair, as well as skilled trades to repair the tile roof. The recent work done on the property included repairs to the clay tile roof both on the primary building and accessory detached garage building, eavestrough and flashing work, waterproofing and balcony repair work. In years past, the Owner had also always ensured that the right types of replacement/repair materials were used on the property to preserve its heritage attributes for years to come.