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Commercial Lighting Restoration Study: Ancaster Town Hall

09 December, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment



ancaster town hall chandelier

 

Ancaster Old Town Hall is a landmark historic building located on Wilson Ave East in the heart of Ancaster. Managed by the City of Hamilton, the 1870s edifice is a popular, versatile venue that hosts weddings, celebrations and community events. The objective was to restore the existing chandeliers, compliment them with custom designed lighting made by us, retrofit the lighting for LEDs and make it bright!

 

Consultation:

 

First we had to conduct a site visit to examine the existing lights and make recommendations for new lighting in surrounding areas. The 2 chandeliers dated from 1910 and have presided over the community for over 100 years.

 

before lighting restoration in ancaster town hall

 

Hanging 15' up in the air, detailed photos were taken and analyzed for restoration. We used our experience to determine the construction of the lights, the condition of the finish and prospective ways to increase light output through the discreet use of LED lighting. Lumen requirements for LED's were measured by calculating the total square footage which gave us parameters on which bulbs to choose.

 

Behind the Victorian arch on the main stage, there were 4 book matched locations for lighting. 2 of the locations were ideal for smaller chandeliers to provide general lighting for intimate events. The other 2 acted as spotlights meant to be used for plays concerts and presentations. Butting up against original plaster crown molding, the spot lights would be a fun challenge to design while the other 2 chandeliers had to be complimentary to to the main chandeliers. Everything was to be in made of solid brass for quality and finish.

 

 

Proposal and Quote

 

Once we complied and analyzed all of the information from the site visit, we condensed all of the information into core requirements. They were:

  1. Historic sensitivity

  2. Light output

  3. Longevity

  4. Environmental and energy requirements/savings

  5. Quality, pride and budget

 

LED filament bulb available in TorontoMultiple options were presented to the City detailing lumen requirements, restoration options and lighting fixture choices accompanied by photos and renderings. Because it's an expansive public space and the chandeliers are hard to access, LED lighting was recommended on all of the lights. They provided:

  • 70% greater brightness

  • 10x longer life from light bulbs (30,000 hours over 3000 hours)

  • 90% energy savings

  • Labour savings (do not have to change bulbs as often)

  • Warm colour temperature quality from LED filament bulbs

The City of Hamilton choose one option that incorporated high intensity COB LED's discretely placed in the chandelier along with decorative LED bulbs on the perimeter. Complimentary bespoke lighting was chosen for over the stage including LED spot lights handmade out of brass and finished to match all of the other lights.

 

 

 

Pick up and temporary replacements

 

Chandelier rentals torontoGiven that the hall was in constant use during wedding season, we supplied period reproduction lighting from our Custom Collection. They were altered to suit the hall and illuminated with the same LED filament bulbs specified in the proposal. The original chandeliers were cataloged and brought to the shop to visit the restoration doctor.

 

Restoration and Manufacture

 

Restoring lights is full of surprises. These were no different. Garland, garland.......lots of garland. It was Christmas in July with ancient remnants of decorations past.

 

Disassembling was straightforward and there were no areas of concern with dents, damages, breaks or splits. Where required, we do all necessary repairs including soldering, brazing and small sand casting to replace parts. High quality in their day, these chandeliers were commercial grade and wonderful to work on.

 

metal finishing and restoration torontoOur master finisher handled the 36” spinning's on the high speed polishing wheels where 35 years of experience was put to the test. The result was an incredible antique brass finish replicating a period finish from the era the lights were made.

brass finishing and polishing toronto

custom brass spotlights

 

Insetting the LED's was a little more challenging as we had to discreetly hide the lights, hardware, and driver in the core of the chandelier. Attention to detail, balance and functionality were key. The end result was utilizing the existing structure to mount the LEDs and accompanying heat sinks.

Custom spotlights were created from the drawings in the proposal. They were to match the finishes of the chandeliers, use high powered PAR 30 LED bulbs, be adjustable and fit in a confined space.

COB leds on antique light restoration

 

For over the stage, our Custom 5 Light Wakefield was an ideal match for the 2 chandeliers and spot lights. Handcrafted out of brass, everything was of the same finish and quality.

 

Delivery and Installation

 

Taking something down is easier than putting it up.

 

We like to make things easy to put up.

 

Instead of being 1 unit, the chandeliers were separated so they could be installed in 2 pieces. Easier for electricians to handle and less room for error or damage.

restored heritage chandelier toronto

When installed and illuminated, they were pure magic. The center light LED's illuminated the room and having the 2 sets on separate switches meant the light levels could be adjusted to suit any mood.

ancaster town hall installation

 

 

Conclusion

 

Large scale restoration projects are a detailed process but so very rewarding. The City of Hamilton was ecstatic with the restoration, placement of LEDs and functionality of the lights. From start to finish we worked with the City to update them on the status, coordinate with the electricians and deliver on time and budget.

 

The end result was nothing short of awesome. We do a lot of retail client rewires and restorations but it's challenging commercial lighting projects like this that we love. Thank you Carolyn Samko and everyone at the City of Hamilton for giving us the opportunity to be apart of the history of Ancaster Old Town Hall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part II : Vintage Photos from our Neighbourhood

10 July, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

A few weeks back we showcased vintage photos from our Sherbourne Street neighbourhood and talked about the transformation of the area and accompanying buildings. It's hard to distill the colourful evolution of the neighbourhood in a few snapshots so that's why have part 2 to share with you here. I wish I had time to take after photos but being as busy as we are, we'll have to settle on these little time capsules.

adelaide and sherbourne

Anyone that's lived in Toronto for a while, works in the neighbourhood or even visited is a witness to just how much it's changing daily. From the industrial age to the information age, condos, offices and educational institutions have supplanted manufacturing and churn out a different product in 2015.

 

For now, lets just look at a bygone era. One that was a little grittier.

 

goodwill on jarvis

 

Goodwill Buy The Pound. I miss the Goodwill complex almost every day. It was a great place to kill time, do some picking and find some treasures. The Buy The Pound warehouse was housed in a beautiful Art Deco factory which sadly met the wrecking ball to make way for a condo. Located at the corner of Adelaide and George St, that's where you went to buy clothing in bulk. And was it ever busy!

 

 

Factory on the north side of Richmond St east of George. The loading dock was still active in this mixed use factory. In the 90s and early 2000s, Richmond was in transition and a lot of these mixed use industrial buildings were operational but in disrepair. Currently converted to offices, it houses animation studios and George Brown College. Love the old windows!

 

The Bank of Upper Canada and De LaSalle Institute. One of Toronto's earliest and most interesting buildings, it's looking really forlorn in this photo from the 60s. Parking is hithero and it might have been when the building was used as a meat processing plant of all things! Was once the Bank of Upper Canada and a target of William Lyon Mackenzie's rebellion. Didn't go so well for Billy Boy. Restored over 30 years ago, it's a gem!

 

Erected in 1907 for the Sovereign Bank of Canada, this Edwardian gem has a distinct Renaissance revival treatment to the facade. Standing alone before the King George condos went up around it, it looks pretty dignified.

 


Standing on the west side of Sherbourne Street just south of King, this small factory/warehouse has undergone and amazing transformation. Once home to the furniture company Biltmore, it now houses Jardin de Ville which is an outdoor living boutique shop.

 

 

 

I love this photo. There's a calm to it before the giant wave of commercialization swept through King St East. Looking north up Frederick st the factories are still and it's just one person going about there day with parking lots on the horizon. I dare you to look at it now with George Brown College anchoring the view.

 

 

The gray paint disappeared in the mid 2000s along with photo studios and a cool Scandinavian installation artist that use to have a studio on the main floor. Richmond street east is more uniform now but these mixed use and painted facade factories were everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating 40 years of being green......

05 May, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

 

 

Restored antique and vintage lighting is recycling in its purest form. In the age of disposable DIY furniture, lighting and home decor, most things are not made to last. Heirloom quality lighting does not originate from China in 2015 but instead from Europe or North America in 1915.

 

We've always prided ourselves on our commitment to the environment by reusing, re adapting and restoring lighting from a bygone era. Saved from the trash heap, we've preserved some outstanding fixtures and given them a new home for another 100 years.

 

When they come into us they are in various states of disrepair and require TLC specific to each one. Nothing goes to waste in the process as all old wire is scrapped and recycled, vintage sockets saved for historic purposes and broken parts are repaired by our restoration team. In many cases, original finishes are maintained by cleaning them with soap and water and preserved with an eco friendly water based lacquer. When a light is in need of a major overhaul and covered in too many layers of pink house paint, we bring it back to the base metal using non toxic methods. From there a hand applied patina or brass based finish is matched to the fixture and preserved with either wax or water based lacquer.

 

The cool thing with all old lighting and new lighting that we make here is that they are made of 100% recyclable materials. Brass, copper, steel, cast iron and aluminum are valuable commodities on the scrap market with many of the parts having even more value for future restorations. In our workshop in an extensive collection of old parts reserved for stock and client restorations. That's one of the many reasons that makes us the go-to vintage and antique lighting company.

 

One of the most common questions we hear is if we buy back custom lighting we sold years ago.

 

The short answer is no.

 

Not because we don't want to give it a good home or because it's not valuable any more. It's just that we are still making the same lighting models and are not equipped to buy more of it back.

 

But we will recycle it for you.

 

If you have a custom wall sconce, chandelier or lamp that was made by us, and have no further use for it we would be more than happy to break it down, take it to the scrap yard and save it from the land fill.

 

That's just one of commitments we have to the environment and our clientele.

 

 

Historic restoration and a big thank you!

22 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

We would like to give a huge thank you to Father Eric Deprey and the parishioners at St.Clement Parish at St. Anne Church in Ottawa. We were fortunate enough to restore their historic sanctuary lamp which had been in storage for over 40 years.

Restored and hung just in time for Easter.