Featured In The Toronto Star: EGD Glass at St. Michael’s Hospital

Stained Glass St. Michael's HosptialEGD Glass has been featured in the Toronto Star. A team from EGD Glass is working to restore the 75-year-old stained glass windows that line the chapel at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

EGD’s goal at St. Michael’s is to maintain the historical integrity of the stained glass by using as much of the original material as possible. The windows were designed by Yvonne Williams, regarded by many as the greatest Canadian stained glass artist of the 20th century.

We expect to finish this project by December. Read more in the Toronto Star.

Caring For Heritage Windows In The Winter

Stained Glass Before and After Cleaning

Before and after cleaning.

By Tanya Baleta

There’s a bit of a chill in the air this week as temperatures dip below zero. While preparing for the colder months, don’t forget your stained glass and heritage windows need a bit of extra attention. By taking a few steps to prepare for the winter, you can help ensure your historic windows will maintain their original quality.

Check For Damage

Make sure there is no damage to your windows as extreme weather conditions can exacerbate existing cracks and breaks.

Ripling lead is an indicator of lose panels of glass. In this case, it is best to call a professional.

Ripling lead is an indicator of lose glass panels. It is best to call a professional.

Be on the lookout for:

  • Movement of any glass panels.
  • Damage to the T-Bars and saddle bars, such as buckling or loose copper ties. These bars provide support to prevent bowing and sagging.
  • Damage to the sealant used to install glass panels into both stone reglets and steel frames. Inspect the adhesion of both interior and exterior surfaces.
  • Damage to any vents and weepholes.
  • Loose or missing putty. This needs to be replaced on a regular basis as stained glass windows rely on a tight, waterproof setting.
  • Broken glass.


Remove vines from the perimeter of historic windows.

Remove vines from the perimeter of historic windows.

The good news is, stained glass windows tend to do a better job of hiding dirt and grime than clear windows. However, it is important to maintain a cleaning regimine. EGD Glass recommends cleaning both the inside and outside of your historic windows at least every two years. Windows that are accessible from the ground often require cleaning once a year.

First, remove all vines and growth from around the perimeter of the windows.

Steel frames and hardware:
Vacuum the space and hinges between the frame and the window. Dust and grime can build up in this area and prevent casement windows from closing properly.

Hardware should be kept clean and in working order. Contact a professional if you notice that the hardware is not functioning properly.

Debris in the channels will prevent the window from closing properly.

Debris in the channels will prevent the window from closing properly.

Glass and lead came cleaning:
Remove finger marks and dirt with a speciality glass cleaner and a soft, lint-free cloth. Stained glass windows are especially sensitive to acids, so off-the-shelf products containing ammonia or other abrasive chemicals should never be used.

EGD Glass strongly advises that all of the above work be carried out by an accredited stained glass firm that is experienced in the conservation field. A professional will be able to help you properly clean and seal the lead cames dividing the glass panels.

Taking the time to properly maintain your stained glass windows prolongs their life, but also delays the necessity of any possible restoration efforts. Preventative maintenance ensures that future generations will be able to enjoy them for years to come.

10 Reasons To Repair Your Old Windows

Reasons to repair old windows

Your old windows are looking a bit warn out these days. They might even be drafty or damaged. Are you thinking of replacing them?

Think again before replacing your heritage windows. According to the National Trust For Historic Preservation, old windows are easily repaired and can be just as energy efficient as a new window.

Check out this list of 10 Reasons to Repair Your Old Windows.

Reclaiming Stained Glass at St. Philip On The Hill

By Tanya Baleta

Reclaimed stained glass window.

A rose window at St. Philip On The Hill.

In 2010 a small church on Caribou Road in Toronto closed its doors forever.

St. Philip the Apostle, consecrated in the 1950s, faced dwindling Sunday attendance.

EGD Glass was called upon to remove and store the historic stained glass windows, including two rose windows. All the windows were designed and fabricated by renowned Canadian glass artist, Yvonne Williams.

“Yvonne Williams is regarded as one of the finest 20th century stained glass artists in Canada,” said Eve Guinan, owner of EGD Glass. “What’s amazing about her work is her painting and use of colour. The quality of the work is incredible.”

Reclaimed stained glass window.

Eve Guinan restored the rose window.

While the Anglican Diocese engaged in discussion to determine the fate of the stained glass, Eve took on a project at a church called St. Philip On The Hill in Unionville. While preparing to design new stained glass windows for the church’s narthex, she caught a glimpse of a rose window without any stained glass in it.

“I knew exactly where to find a rose window that would fit the opening,” said Eve. “I told St. Philip On The Hill about the rose windows and they thought it was a fantastic idea.”

After some discussion with the Anglican Diocese, it was decided one of the rose windows would be reclaimed and installed at St. Philip On The Hill, with the second being reserved for a church in Brampton.

Eve set to work restoring the rose window. Though it had not been repaired since it was installed around 1959, the window remained in good condition with only minor cracks and breaks.

The round window was divided into four pieces. When set in the original concrete opening at St. Philip The Apostle, the pieces combined to create a circle. However, without the concrete to act as a frame the pieces did not fit properly together.

Reclaimed stained glass window

The rose window is divided into four pieces, as seen at St. Philip The Apostle.

“To remedy the problem we had a round steel frame made with a spot for each of the four pieces and the same spacing as the original concrete opening,” explained Eve.

After a weeks worth of repairs, the steel frame and historic glass were installed at St. Philip On The Hill in 2012.

“The final product is beautiful,” said the Rev. Stephen Kern, Incumbent at St. Philip On The Hill. “It’s not just a window, it’s a functional piece of our worship space.”

According to the the Rev. Kern, Eve was sensitive to the congregation’s needs during the installation period. “We’re working with a church and a community of people – not just an individual,” he explained. “The window went up without disrupting any services or moving any pews.”

The window is entirely handmade and features a striking grid pattern. The artist utilized rich colour, heavy painting, small pieces of glass and a simplified drawing technique.

“You simply can’t get handmade glass like that any more,” said Eve. “There are maybe two or three companies out there making a very limited amount, so it’s very expensive.”

Reclaimed stained glass window

The window was dedicated to Florence May 1882-1959, “To the Glory of God” – “Rest in Peace” – “Gentle”.

Historic reclaimed glass is often a higher quality product than modern glass, and yet has a lower price tag.

The rose window, which was dedicated to the memory of Florence May (1882-1959), also has historical significance. “We’ve been able to take the legacy of another person’s love for that individual and carry it forward into our worship space,” said the Rev. Kern. “It connects us in a spiritual way with a broader community of worshipping Christians.”

Reclaiming stained glass is also an opportunity to be more environmentally friendly, as is reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials.

“I’m interested in greening our worship space and in environmental stewardship,” said the Rev. Kern. “We were able to reclaim and renew instead of produce from scratch.”

According to Eve, reclaiming stained glass is an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint. “I believe in recycling,” she said. “Plus, you’ll be getting a beautiful piece of our heritage that will live on – so why not?”

Repair Or Replace Old Windows

From commercial structures to residences, windows are a large part of historic buildings. According to the National Trust For Historic Preservation, even minor changes to these windows can drastically alter the way a building looks.

Much needs to be considered before deciding to swap historic windows for modern replacements. Modern windows typically have a lifespan of 20 years, while their historic counterparts continue to go strong after 50 to 100 years.

Read more about how to decide the future of your historic windows in Repair Or Replace Old Windows: A Visual Look At The Impacts.

Repair or Replace old, historic windows

Macaulay Church Museum Commemorative Window

Panel before repair by EGD

Panel before repair by EGD

As a final note to the restoration of the Macaulay Museum Church in Picton, the stained glass window in the vestibule was reinstated in August 2013.

The original panel was reportedly removed from a local church in Picton and installed in the vestibule, both the date and story have yet to be verified.

Panel after repair by EGD

Panel after repair by EGD

The panel was in poor condition when EGD carried out the stained glass survey in 2010.

The restoration of the panel was not included in the 2010 – 11 refurbishment program. The ‘Friends of Macaulay Heritage Park’ volunteers took it upon themselves to find the funds to restore the window.

The restoration included maintaining as much of the original glass as possible, replicating the filigree stencilled pattern and acknowledging the key supporters of the restoration program.

Detail of restored window

Detail of restored window

Reclaimed Stained Glass for Sale

These stained glass window depicting the life of Jesus were designed for St. George Anglican Church, East Toronto. The windows were designed and fabricated in Toronto by a local glass artist and are approximately 40 years old, they are painted and fired in the traditional technique. The church was closed in 2011.

This example shows you a full length view of the window in place. This the 11 panel type which is the bulk of this lot except the nativity ( a nine panel set) and the smaller saints group of two windows. 

Look at all the windows in Lot 177 by following this link:


BlogImageSt. George Large 7

One of the Projects EGD Glass Worked on Just Won an Award!!

A wonderful project we worked on with joint venture Canadian Architects PKG has been listed as a winner the 2011 OAA, Ontario Architects Association, Awards.

The prestigious offices of PKG  and KPMB, completed the massive overhaul on Ottawa’s, Canadian Museum of Nature.

PKG was responsible for the heritage side of the project which consisted of restoring the nearly 100-year-old building.

EGD was brought on as the heritage window specialists and worked on the projects on an ongoing basis from initial phase through to the final phase.

We are incredibly pleased to have been included in the consulting team and are delighted to hear of PKG’s win.

We wish them tons of continued success and hope we get an invite to the award ceremonies or at least the after party…