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After years of neglect and vacancy, it was time for the old Gaol and Governor’s Residence in downtown Kitchener to be restored to its original splendor. As one of Empire’s most challenging projects, we are proud to have exceeded the expectations of the Region of Waterloo and the Historical Society. This spectacular complex now houses the Region of Waterloo Judge’s Chambers, courtrooms and administrative offices.


Project Highlights:

  • Extensive research was required to find a paint removal system to reveal the soft yellow brick buried beneath layers of red paint. To prevent damage to the original brickwork and protect the sensitive environment, a poultice method was used.

  • Matching bricks were sourced to make replacements where required. A heritage mortar mix was tested to conform to the original texture, colour, and strength.

  • All windowsills and doorsills were replaced, cut from carefully selected samples of Indiana limestone.

  • A new stone archway was constructed to serve as access to the parking courtyard, formerly the gaol exercise compound.

  • Working closely with wood craftsmen to determine the design from old photos and deteriorated pieces, wooden porch details were reproduced.

  • To meet Heritage Society requirements, cedar shakes for the roof were obtained to complement the original roof in both profile and design.

  • All lead-coated copper flashings were manufactured to match.

  • New windows were specified and installed to recreate the original appearance.