Hoo Lee Gardens was a restaurant in a three storey building in Cobourg. Over the past 100 years this building has seen a few renovations. Originally the building was heated by 2 fireplaces per floor. The first renovation came approximately at the turn of the twentieth century whereby, unbeknownst to my client was the problem to many a problems.
The owners at the time put in a hot water system to heat the building. To get the pipes to the second and third floors without protruding too far into the interior space, structural bricks were taken out. Up to 3 layers of a 4 layer brick building! When we saw this we looked to the skies and said thank you for not falling in on the hundreds of customer served by the restaurant! The owner got a mason in pretty darn quickly and reinforced the building.
The next thing we conquered was the fact that in the 1950's a staircase from the first floor to the second floor was taken out along with the supporting walls! That and the fact that there was a cast iron bath tub on the third floor over what would have been supporting walls created the floor to sage and the staircase from the 2nd to 3rd floor pull away from the wall! With a structural engineer just across the street the cause and solution were easily found and implemented. Also in the 1950's renovation 2 large beams were put in place to support the floors above but one of the beams was not set into place! That too, had to be fixed by the mason.
Somewhere in time 5 beautiful windows along the east side of the building now over looking a park were bricked in. These were then opened up and gave the interior space a wonderful light and with single hung windows, a sustainable ventilation system.
This project had many challenges and is still underway as details are being finished. It was a wonderful and scary look into the past and will hopefully be a wonderful site for the owner and the new tenants.