The building is still owned by the federal government although it has been reported it will be sold to the city of Windsor for $1.
There are hopes it may also be the future home of the University of Windsor law school as downtown continues to redevelop.
Colonial got the $3.27 million contract to restore the concrete, repoint the masonry, make stone repairs, and reface the façade to historic specs.
Public Works and Government Services Canada also stipulated bidders – there were five and the government hasn’t disclosed the others – have at least five years experience in heritage masonry and have completed two similar jobs.
Colonial seems to have the experience in spades.
It’s motto is Preserving the Past For Canada’s Future.
“Colonial Building Restoration's goal is to maintain our reputation as a preferred choice of any Company or Government Agency seeking first class building restoration,” the company’s website says.
On the Peace Tower it did stone rebuilding, masonry conservation and preservation, cutting out and re-pointing and stone replacement.
On the Library of Parliament it cut out and repointed masonry joints, rebuilt turrets and chimneys to match existing ones and conserved window sills.
At Toronto’s Old City Hall it did masonry repair and cleaning, stone carving, crack repairs and grouting.
The government’s project manager, Fred Hardy, says Colonial “definitely has the background and the experience in dealing with heritage buildings – especially doing the hand work that we’re looking for, which is repairing the stones and doing the minor repairs that we want them to do, whether its Parliament buildings (or another classic heritage structure)."
The actual work is scheduled for 36 weeks.
For years the Paul Martin Building has been surrounded by hoarding and black mesh to protect pedestrians from falling chunks of stone.
Constructed in the early 1930s it is a recognized federal heritage building.
Photo: Public Works and Government Services Canada