By: Karen Anne Blakely
In 2022 celebrations will be held to mark 150 years since the construction of Abbotsford House on Bank Street. With planning underway to recognize this major milestone it is worth noting to Abbotsford House members, clients and our Glebe neighbours of the work that has taken place and will be done in the coming months on our heritage-designated home.
In March, all the old shingles on the roof were removed and to our delight exposed an interesting design feature. Whereas one might usually see sheets of plywood under the shingles the roof instead was layered with barn boards. These long pieces of wood were two inches thick and for the most part in very good shape. We were advised to keep these in place and add plywood over these boards so that roofing nails would hold. New soffits are coming in soon. Fortunately funding for this very significant project came partially from a government grant.
Over the past five years, twenty-five new windows have been installed while the heritage wood windows facing Bank Street have been refurbished with the aid of grants.
Next on the list are the front porch and the intricate wood gabling adorning the roofline of the house. Due of the heritage designation, we have had to follow a series of steps in order to comply with City of Ottawa rules and regulations.
Working with Tim Davis Design, an architectural plan was developed for the porch. Once approved by the City we can the move forward with the renovation in June. Thankfully we had initiated conversations with an experienced heritage property contractor in 2020 so they were able to commit to this work.
This contractor has made a commitment to try and reuse wood from the original porch but that task will only be realized once the old porch is dismantled and each piece examined. Given the pandemic and significant increase in cost of materials and renovations this project will be more expensive than originally planned.
The final project for this year is refurbishment of the roofline gables. The next time you walk by Abbotsford House cast your gaze of to the roof. Attached to it are intricate circular wood gables (also called gingerbread). Unique in style, it is interesting to note that these gables are different in look at the front and back of our home.
Quotes for the gable work are expected in the coming weeks. It is expected that work will commence in the fall. Come December you will see the same historic house on Bank Street, only better.
Specific tax deductible donations for the porch and gable work have come from many committed Abbotsford members and friends in the neighbourhood, including a nice gift from Amica Mature Lifestyles. Should you wish to make a gift please call Bruce Hill at 613-238-2727 ext. 316 or e-mail him at BHill@glebecentre.ca
Abbotsford House provides community programs and services. The building is currently closed to the public due to the pandemic however community support services and recreation programs for seniors aged 55+ and adults with disabilities living in the community are offered virtually on Zoom, on the Seniors Centre Without Walls telephone conferencing platform and by telephone.
Call us at 613-230-5730 for more information or visit our website at www.glebecentre.ca