Restoring heritage buildings provides us with more than just opportunities to reinvigorate old spaces. These buildings are connections to our past, monuments to the original teams of designers, builders and craftspeople who built them to last for generations.
At Ledcor, our commitment to sustainability goes beyond our operations to include our environment, our people, and our communities -- revitalizing historic buildings supports all three. Retrofitting and reusing existing materials minimizes waste and the environmental impact of manufacturing new building components. Energy efficiency is enhanced with improved insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems, and renewable energy. The buildings are made accessible so more people can enjoy them. And they are cultural and social attractions, stimulating economic growth and revenue generation for their communities.
Our teams in Regina have had the privilege to work on two culturally significant heritage restoration projects: The Globe Theatre, currently underway and expected to be completed next year, and College Avenue Campus, completed in December 2021.
Housed in the 108-year-old Prince Edward Building, the Globe Theatre is undergoing an extensive redevelopment to create a world class performing arts centre with improved safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency. The current revitalization of the 68,000 square foot building includes mechanical, electrical, and structural upgrades, a restoration of the Manitoba Tyndall stone exterior façade, and interior upgrades with bigger aisles, new seating, a new catwalk, and a trap door beneath the main stage. Designed in the style of the original Globe Theatre in England where Shakespeare premiered many of his most famous works, it is one of the only fixed theatre-in-the-round style theatres in North America and is expected to be ready for performances beginning in winter 2024.
The University of Regina’s College Avenue Campus project involved a six-year, multi-phase revitalization of the Collegiate Gothic buildings that both preserved the architectural details and modernized the campus. Originally built in the early 1900s as a Methodist College, the buildings later served as the original University of Regina campus. Renovations included new academic and administrative spaces, elevators for accessibility, and heating and cooling system upgrades. The campus now houses various academic and performing arts spaces.
The revitalization also involved the restoration, renovation and upgrade to current life safety and accessibility standards of the historic Darke Hall theatre constructed in 1929 as Regina’s first dedicated concert hall. Work on the 479-seat performance center restored the original design including the stone and brick facades, mouldings, doors, plaster, stained glass windows and light fixtures. It also involved significant upgrades for full accessibility including elevators and seating, as well as additional washrooms, acoustics, and sight lines throughout the auditorium.
There were also some exciting discoveries during construction: A hidden doorway behind one of the walls to the main theatre was exposed and recreated. Old stenciling was uncovered when the paint was removed from around the stained glass windows, which was then carefully re-stenciled. And numerous artefacts such as old postcards, newspapers, a fountain pen, and some tobacco tins were found and handed over to the University archives.
College Avenue Campus won the 2019 Heritage Award for Physical Heritage Conservation, and Darke Hall won the 2022 CAHP / ACECP Award of Merit in Conservation in Architecture. Ledcor is proud to restore these iconic heritage buildings and help preserve some of Canada’s cultural and architectural history for current and future generations to connect with and take pride in.