July 1, 2015

Let the Building Commence…

July 1, 2015

 Work on The Imperial addition began as soon as the snow melted. On April 14, Ramseyer Excavation from New Hamburg, returned to remove the topsoil in the backyard and replace it will a gravel base.  The weather has been perfect for building – we have only lost two days due to rain.



A few days later, G&B Masonry from Kitchener, delivered blocks and sand. On April 20, G&B began laying the concrete blocks for the first floor of the addition.

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They started with the elevator shaft, two new stairwells and the mechanical room. They finished the first floor work on May 6.

First floor of addition and north wall:

Milll street with block north wall


guys on scaffolding

G&B Masonry returned on May 26 and began laying block from the second to the third floor.

Lifting blocks to second floor facing Mill Street:

lifting some blocks

masons at work

mortar guy

As of June 19, G&B was laying block up to the roofline above the 3rd floor. They are also finishing work on the west stairwell and the elevator shaft up to the roof. They will soon have the north wall at the rear of the addition built to the third-floor roof line.

delivering mortar

Working on elevator shaft:

elevator shaft almost to 3rd flor

west wall and doorway

G&B bricklayers bricked the exterior wall of the west stairwell and will soon lay the north rear wall. They have to wait until the windows are installed before they can brick the rest of the building — the windows are scheduled to arrive in another week……

Matt Parkes & Brent Verbinski:

2 guys

break time

on site guy

block wall installator

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Framing the Addition

On May 11, The Contract Framing Group [owned by Jason Francis in Stratford] arrived at the site and started framing the first floor deck.


They framed the interior walls, restaurant kitchen, and ring joists to support the floor joists. Since then the masons and framers have been working on the same site together – and it can be tight at times.

[L-R Bob, Mac Preikschas, Morgan Longille, Brennan May, Matt Nebley, Annika Nicolson, Bob]

group 2

The second floor framed in:

2nd floor om Mill

The new restaurant kitchen framed:


Stopping for lunch:

break time

Vestige of former bathrooms peaking through:

last vestige of bathroom

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Exterior posts framed:

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Structural Reinforcement Within The Imperial

Meanwhile, inside the original hotel, work has continued since April. Mike and Adam from Metcon were welding beams to the columns on the second floor and moved up to the third floor on May 1. They finished the third-floor beams during the first week of June.

In June, Metcon installed the 12th and 13th column into the addition’s south wall. These two columns will provide strength to the original north wall of the hotel and the new south wall of the addition.

12th column in the air:

column 12 in air

12th column coming down:

column 12 almost there

column 12 coming in  for landing

Look up Mike:

Mikey looking down

The last column’s lift off:

coolumn 13

The last column rested against an old chimney.  Nith Valley opened the chimney on the inside of the third floor and discovered it had been filled in with old bricks; but they also found thick pieces of creosote.

chmney filled with bricks & creosote

Before Metcon left, they installed beams above the sunroom [in the addition] to support the tenant’s 3rd floor patio.

framing for patio

The original staircase to the basement was removed and Mike welded the last beam in the basement.

removing basement stairs

Nith Valley Construction Framers

Nith Valley Construction replaced original joists and rebuilt the roof framing on the 3rd floor. They also reframed all perimeter structural walls throughout the building. On May 25, they moved down to the second floor interior.

The second floor with new steel structure:

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They framed in a new hallway on the 3rd floor:

corridor to elevator on 2nd flor

Demising walls were installed on the third floor. Ceiling heights will be determined in another month. The 3rd floor will have cathedral ceilings:

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By the end of the second week in June, we finished the structural process inside the original hotel that was begun on September 2, 2014.

Two weeks ago, NVC removed the 2 staircases to prepare for the levelling of floors.


The second and third floors are completely empty – first time since 1872 and 1902.

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NVC marked the floor height on the walls to prepare for the levelling of the floors. In some places there is a 3” to a 6” difference.

Original rear of hotel in background:

rear with siding & retaurant

Plastic sheathing/siding was removed from third floor:

rear no siding

Inside the new restaurant kitchen:

inside kitchen

The new restaurant with the tenant’s sunroom above it:

kitchen & sunrom

One of the walls in the sunroom:

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The kitchen with enclosed sunroom above it:

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The 3rd floor tenant’s patio above the sunroom:

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Looking into unit 205:

inside 205 & 206

Lynn Zehr’s Tea Room [open from 12:00-12:30p.m.]:

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Windows & Doors

The installation of the new windows is probably the most striking improvement on the building. Bavarian Windows in Kitchener manufactured all the custom-made double-clad aluminum windows. The mullions are a soft moss green and frames are a creamy yellow:

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Dennis Millward of NVC is the craftsman extraordinaire who installed the windows. In order to set the 2nd and 3rd floor windows, he installed a plywood backing for the trim and blocked in the brick opening. This would not have been required in a new build.



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The new windows are level with the interior wall but not exactly with the exterior brick. The bricks have always been irregular due to the great six-inch sag [see “Another 10,000 Bricks on the Wall Post”]

Window Openings Before:

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Windows installed:

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New Nano Brewery door on Huron Street:

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Window Insulation

Great Northern truck

Great Northern Insulation sprayed purple foam around all the new windows.

2 guys



They will return to spray nooks and crannies around the newly installed 1st floor windows.

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Miscellaneous Metal Fabrications

Ed Lau Metal Works from Kitchener has been fabricating the steel stairs in its shop and will be installing them in the next two weeks.



Blake Scherer from Conestoga Mechanical began roughing in the underground plumbing for the restaurant bathrooms and kitchen.


Blake is a local boy, son of Joe and Betty.


Sound Transmission

Joey Jraige , a sound engineer with Conestoga Rovers, made recommendations to prevent noise from traveling from unit to unit and from floor to floor. As well as using sound mats on top of floors, we staggered studs between units.

Staggered studs:

spaced  wall studs2

Sound matt on floor:

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We will use extra insulation for sound between the studs and drywall.

The elevator was thoroughly grouted to keep noise from traveling.

Floor Leveling in the Original Hotel

On June 22, Concrete Floor Tek began the process of  levelling  the floors by pouring a milky substance of cement over the sound mats. The concrete, Levelrock, is mixed on site with sand and water. It provides an economical way to achieve a lightweight, fire resistant, sound-rated floor leveller. It will correct the uneven floors and maximize sound isolation.

Mixing machine for Levelrock:

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Pouring the concrete:

pouring concrete leveling

Smoothing out the concrete:

spreading leveling

The new floor was dry in 2 hours.

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Electricomm, owned by Gerry Flatt, arrived on site last week.  The foreman, Todd, and a few of his men began roughing in the button lights that will decorate the sign band around the original hotel.

Flags, Finials & Date Stone

The Canadian flag will be mounted above the door to the entrance of the Imperial Suites. Last week Lynn Zehr stood above the entrance and held up difference sizes of flags for us to decide which one was best.

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There used to be 4 finials on the 4 corners of the hotel.  We are  having new ones made.  Eric Zehr was kind enough to hold up different lengths of wood – we decided on 3’6″ finials.

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We are placing a date stone on the original building. Gabe Guy, one of our excellent architects, held up a paper for us to decide on the best size.

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The Imperial is coming back to life – at last!

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