Celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Toronto Bell Cote, a local heritage site, on Sunday, October 18 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. An event will be held on site at 691 Scarlett Rd., at the corner of Scarlett Road and Kingdom Street.
The event will be marked with activities every hour, on the hour beginning at 12 p.m., including a talk on the history of the building, a presentation detailing the renovation process, and a display of artefacts that trace the building’s history.
The Toronto Bell Cote is the only wood framed church in Toronto and possesses a rich local history. Originally built in 1895, the building was once known as Holy Trinity Anglican Church, located in Malton, ON. After falling into disuse, the building was relocated to it’s current site in 1923 and renamed St. Matthias Anglican Church. The congregation of St. Matthias relocated in 1957 and the building was later designated a heritage site by the City of Toronto in 2003.
Renovations began in 2010 to restore and preserve the deteriorated building. EGD Glass was called upon to restore the damaged stained glass windows.
Conservation and Restoration
After assessing the condition of the stained glass, EGD Glass followed up with the conservation of eight original sash windows. Each panel was dismantled and releaded and some pieces of the painted glass, damaged beyond repair, were replicated. The tryptich window on the east side, which featured three panels, was restored. On the south side, a small Gothic window was restored and moved higher up the wall.
EGD Glass also recommended a secondary glazing to protect the newly restored windows. A traditional wood storm glazing was chosen for being in keeping with the style of the day and meeting the Heritage Toronto Board’s requirements.
Under the guidance of Takashi Tsuji Architects, the entire restoration, which finished in 2014, also included a new foundation and basement, steel framing and wood restoration through out.
Historic glass windows are unique treasures that allow us a rare glimpse into history.
Tragically, many windows have been lost to the devastation of time and improper care. But in the hands of an experienced stained glass specialist these windows can be enjoyed for centuries to come.
Caring for historic glass is an art and care must be taken in choosing the right studio and specialist. But how do you know who has the right skills and knowledge to restore and care for your windows?
We’ve compiled a list of simple ways you can help ensure you’re dealing with a professional.
1) Solicit bids from experienced studios. An accredited conservator-restorer will possess the necessary skills and knowledge to work with your historic windows.
2) A representative will visit you to conduct an on site visual inspection of the window. The studio will them submit a written bid and proposal.
3) Request a list of previous restorations and references from the studio.
4) Follow up with these previous clients and examine the windows listed in the studio’s portfolio. Ask references how well the studio respected their needs, if they fulfilled their contract and if the client was pleased with the overall result.
5) While reviewing your options keep in mind an experienced professional will seek to conserve as much of the original window as possible. Proper restoration will not interfere with the structural or artistic integrity of the window, and can be undone without damage.
6) Restoring historic stained glass is an expensive task – the lowest bid is not necessarily the best buy.
Are you interested in working with EGD Glass on your next glass project? Contact us today to request a proposal.