Bath Time

Bath TimeI don’t have massively strong memories of what the Prince Edward Building at the corner of Scarth St. and 11th Ave looked like in its prime. It was built in 1906, and was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by the Dominion of Canada’s chief architect David Ewart. Over its 100 plus years of life it’s served as a post office (from 1906-56), city hall (from the early 1960s to 1976) and, since 1980, as the home of the Globe Theatre.

The building is designated as a municipal heritage property, but over the last while it’s become a bit of an eye-sore, with a fair amount of grime on its exterior walls from traffic exhaust and other pollutants, along with a significant amount of droppings (and even the odd broken egg) from pigeons that roost in its various nooks and crannies.

In January, the Globe announced that it was purchasing the building from its previous owners.  There’s still some structural work that needs to be done, but today a crew was out with a pressure washer giving the building a scrub-down. Once the gunk is cleaned up from the sidewalk it will brighten things up a bit at that corner.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

11 thoughts on “Bath Time”

  1. Bernie Flaman was upset about pressure washing (from facebook):

    “Oh great! Pressure washing historic limestone; they are likely damaging the mortar joints and unnecessarily forcing moisture into the wall. Plus the runoff is usually a toxic brew of pigeon poop and soot from cars, refineries, etc and should be contained rather than flushed down the storm sewer.”

    It seems that pressure washing the limestone footing of Connaught school has damaged and erode it.

    Sigh….. We are not very nice to our historic buildings!!!

  2. It was a pretty haphazard operation. As you can see from the photo people were walking past in the closed off bus lane with water and gunk raining down. I crossed 11th Ave mid-block to avoid it and I wasn’t alone.

  3. Connaught does not have limestone footings, it is a brick foundation with concrete footings. Any pressure washing of the stone to remove graffiti has nothing to do with the building falling to pieces. The limestone is only a veneer and is not structural. This is from the published reports by the way, you should read them sometime.

  4. École Connaught School: “The lower sections of deterioration was caused by completely inappropriate interventions. The soft Indiana Limestone was pressure washed, forcing water into the porous stone, which in turn caused the efflorescence present on the exterior of the building face.

    Also the pressure washing removed the protective patina on the stone causing spaulting. The wand marks from the pressure washing are still clearly visible. This intervention was supposedly done to remove graffiti but instead has caused substantial damage.”

    from: http://saveourconnaught.ca/important-docs/ (and that is only ONE of the mistakes which caused damage to Connaught School.)

  5. I assume the document you are referring to is the one by the “expert” in historic preservation, you know, the one who has never actually been responsible for restoring a building but has had qualified experts explain how it is done, but may actually have taken a course on masonry buildings. The documents on the website you reference are full of real engineers saying that the problem is the footing, foundations, and poorly constructed concrete structure. They also say the building has to be gutted completely, and that it is unsafe. The only heritage report I see done by a qualified professional and not the University Club states that most of the heritage value of the building is in it’s mass and brick and the rest has already been removed. Restoring this building is going to cost off the charts. Wand marks on the stone are not the problem and are superficial. Moisture has penetrated the bricks for 100 years, so they and the grout have failed. Removal of graffiti on the stone is not the cause of any of the issues. I love how the SOC and Real Renewal quote the same bogus information they basically invented, over and over with the expectation that by repeating it enough times people will start to believe it.

  6. “Well said.”??! Seriously!!?

    The historic conservator who is now working on the Legislative Buildings is not good enough for you?!

  7. She is not working on the Legislative building, and working as a manager for a ministry on a project does not make you the “conservator” on the project. Perhaps you can provide us with exactly what she did, and what her role was, because she was not one of the experts highered to do the project and has nothing to do with it now.

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