Ottawa, ON
West Block Renovations Parliament

Complete gutting and renovation of an historic Gothic Revival style building, parts of which date back to 1859. Renovations accommodated a temporary area for government meetings built in the courtyard of the West Block Building.

Our Role

Walters detailed, fabricated and erected new steel support framework, working with our construction partners to preserve the historic legacy of one of Canada’s iconic government buildings.

Facts & Figures

  • 22 tonnes of steel

Overcoming Challenges

All the walls of the existing building date back to 1865 and are designated as historic, which means they cannot be altered during renovations. All site activities had to follow a detailed Historic Protection Plan and undergo stringent vibration monitoring. Our task was to keep any wall movement under one millimetre while transferring the weight of three-foot-wide, three-storey stone walls to a temporary shoring structure.

To allow other trades to undermine and reinforce the North Wing’s foundations, we constructed temporary independent foundations. We used six computer-controlled and sequenced hydraulic jacks to take up the load incrementally until we could fasten jacking beams. We repeated this process at 68 jacking points while “string pot” measuring devices sensitive to one, one-thousandth of a millimetre told us how we were doing. We completed the operation without a single crack in the mortar or plaster and with no damage to the floors.

Location

Parliament Hill, Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada