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58CE - The Potential of Heritage Buildings

09 May 2014 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

1.5 ConEd learning hours

This session will be also be offered Friday, May 9, 2014 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Course Outline

This presentation will explore the rewards and challenges of working on heritage building projects with reference to a number of recent award-winning adaptive reuse projects, including the Guelph Provincial Offences Court (formerly the Guelph City Hall), No. 10 Toronto Street (originally Toronto’s Seventh Post Office) and the James Cooper Mansion in Toronto.

The session will begin with an introduction to the Ontario Heritage Act, which allows the province and municipalities to designate properties of cultural heritage value or interest. There will be a discussion of acceptable conservation principles and techniques, with reference to the "Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Historic Places in Canada".  Case studies will be presented, using a series of photo images, to illustrate the process involved in preserving and re-purposing existing heritage buildings as well as the challenges encountered and solutions sought.  Finally, the session will look at how re-using a heritage building preserves the embodied energy which the building and its materials have, supports "green" building guidelines such as LEED, helps revitalize the neighbourhood and its economy, and preserves history.

Learning Objectives 

  1. Identify well-established building conservation principles and techniques
  2. Recognize provincial legislation and municipal by-laws governing alterations to designated heritage buildings
  3. Understand the methodologies of working with heritage buildings and the challenges involved
  4. Consider how the re-purposing of existing heritage buildings contributes to sustainable building design practices, urbanism, economy and culture


Ida Seto, OAA, MRAIC, CAHP, LEED AP BD+C, is a senior architect with Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. Architects (GBCA) In Toronto.   She is a member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP) and a LEED Accredited Professional with specialty in Building Design + Construction.  Since joining GBCA in 1999, she has been project architect and / or a team member involved in building assessment, design development and contract administration for a number of heritage restoration and adaptive reuse projects for institutional and private clients, some of which have won awards from the OAA, CAHP, Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and Heritage Toronto.  The most recent of these projects are No. 10 Toronto Street (originally Toronto’s Seventh Post Office), the Guelph Provincial Offences Court (formerly the Guelph City Hall), the James Cooper Mansion, and Longo’s Leaside Store (originally the Canadian Northern Railway Eastern Lines Locomotive Shop) in Toronto, for which Ida’s role was that of project architect.