Calgary’s historic City Hall rehabilitation complete

Monday, September 21, 2020

After undergoing an extensive three year heritage rehabilitation, Calgary’s 109-year-old City Hall has completed renovations.

Approved by council in 2015, the $34.1 million project kicked off in 2016 with site stabilization work. By spring 2017, the building was fully under wraps for three years to protect the sandstone and exposed building elements year-round while work was underway.

EllisDon undertook the project. Scope of work included rehabilitation of the building envelope, structural reinforcement, heritage recording and material conservation work, site servicing and landscaping.

“It’s a once in a lifetime project for a construction professional,” said Joanne Foster, sr. project manager, EllisDon. “Calgary does not have very many historic buildings, especially of this nature. “Being able to work on a historic sandstone masonry building that has not had this type of rehabilitation since the time it was originally built is a true honour and privilege.”

Although a pandemic emerged while the project was underway, delays were largely mitigated, and the project team met their target occupancy-ready date of September 2020.

“The comprehensive scope of work we’ve completed will provide improved safety, prolong the building’s life and preserve its extraordinary heritage value,” said Darrel Bell, acting director of facility management.

Historic City Hall is a National, Provincial and Municipal Heritage Resource and its restoration has been one of the most substantial heritage projects underway in Canada since 2016.

In addition to preserving the building’s heritage value, the project provided an important boost to Calgary’s construction industry.

“The rehabilitation of Historic City Hall created 233 full-time jobs over the last four years,” said Bell. “The work it’s provided for professions such as stonemasons, carpenters, electricians, construction managers and many others has been significant.”

Originally constructed between 1907 until 1911, historic City Hall was once used as a police station, a court and a jail.

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