Heritage retrofit carpentry graduates work on Province House project
Six graduates from Holland College’s Heritage Retrofit Carpentry program will work on one of Canada’s most historically significant buildings this summer, preparing Province House National Historic Site for major conservation work.
Quinan Construction Ltd. of Orillia, Ont., was awarded the $8.7million contract for this stage of the project.
During the summer, the crew will be stabilizing the building to ensure its structural integrity during later excavations.
The Holland College graduates will have the opportunity to work on many different aspects of the stabilization, gaining incredible hands-on experience under the guidance of experts from Quinan Construction.
“It is quite an honour to be a tradesperson working on Province House, where the Fathers of Confederation first met to discuss forming Canada,” said David Redmond, a recent graduate from the program and now a heritage carpenter on the project.
Steffen MacEwen agreed, noting the project is an ideal opportunity to put the skills they learned during the program into use.
“We have been in school to learn how to care for our built heritage, and we learned a lot,” he said.
“Heritage buildings like Province House will be here for centuries to come. I am honoured to have the skills to be able to work on such a building.”
Heritage retrofit carpentry students learn carpentry techniques and theory to allow them to work on culturally significant projects.
For one school year, the students repair and reproduce all carpentry elements of historic buildings, including trim, doors, windows and stairs. The students are well versed on how to work within the standards and guidelines that serve as the guiding principles of heritage conservators.
“Understanding these complex techniques and theories make graduates of the program ideal for such highly skilled work,” said program instructor Josh Silver.
“Our students develop skills sets well beyond the normal boundaries of carpentry. By the time they graduate, they are skilled craftspeople ready to work on just about any heritage carpentry project. In the past, we have seen graduates working on a variety of historic buildings, including the houses of parliament. We are delighted that our graduates are working on Province House.”
Holland College heritage retrofit carpentry graduates, from left, Jenna MacNeill, Steffen MacEwen, Zackery Bernard and Noah Savary examine blueprints for Province House.