August 1, 2015

August 1st, 2015 – 4 more months until the tenants move in. Two of the retail tenants would like to open in November – that is exciting. We have been planning ahead so this will be possible.

This is what happened in July.  These first two photos were taken by my husband in the first week of July. You can see two floors of the addition:

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This photo shows all 3 floors of the addition and the parapet above it.  Thanks Shain Arnott for taking this photo from your roof.

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Parts of the original building are still peaking through in places.

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G&B Masonry finished laying the blocks for the north stairs at the end of June. A few weeks later, they finished the north wall and the west stairs. The blocks are completed.

We began to see evidence of the red brick on the addition as they laid the brick around the west stair wall and around the exterior columns at the north end of the building.

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You might wonder why we are using red brick for the addition…. according to our architect, Laird Robertson, if you can not use the same brick on an addition, you should not try to match it with another similar brick.  It will always appear different and to the expert eye, it will be obvious.  The rule is to use  a contrasting brick with a different architecture from the same period.  Rather than using the the same architectural style that was on the original hotel,  we opted for a historical style of the same vintage that can be seen on other buildings in New Hamburg.

We chose a red brick due to the history of the building.  A few years after The Imperial was built, it was stained red because red brick appeared more prestigious and it was scarce in New Hamburg’s yellow-brick community.  Now The Imperial is both the original yellow brick and red brick.

The north wall has been fully insulated and bricking will commence this week. Once the new windows are installed on the addition, the brick will be laid on the front exterior.

Framing the Addition

Contract Framers returned on July 6th and framed in the third floor of the addition and the parapet.

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Rear of the addition:

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They framed and sheathed the roof on the addition. This is the back part of the parapet:

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Inside suite 206 in the addition:

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Looking into the 3rd floor hallway from the tenants’ patio:

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The tenants’ patio:

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Looking through the front window of suite 306 [this photo is for Y.I.]


Looking through the ‘punched’ windows of the restaurant kitchen from outside :

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You can see the kitchen’s ‘punched windows’ on the main level:

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The tenants’ sunroom:

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While the framers are on the roof, they will build a roof over the two staircases.

Nith Valley Construction Framers

When Nith Valley was removing bricks from the third-floor north wall of the original building in front of the new elevator, they found two very interesting things:  two signed bricks from 1902 when the third floor was added.   The first one was signed by William R. Plum of New Hamburg. William Plum, born in 1848 and died in 1922, was a major figure in New Hamburg’s history.  He: had an insurance company; bought and sold land; loaned people money; was on town council for many years and ran for reeve; lived at 62 Waterloo Street; was V.P. of the Mechanic’s Institute in 1882; was on the building committee for St. George Anglican Church; was on the first Board of Trade; owned a general store, the Hamburg Hotel and the William Tell building; and was the auditor for New Hamburg in 1890 and the assessor in  1921.  I imagine that he either lent out money for the addition or else he was a personal friend of the owner.  It is amazing that his signature survived the elements from 1902-2015.

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A second brick was found near by with only the name, “John” on it. Perhaps this was John Buckel Jr.’s signature, the owner of the hotel.

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Nith Valley carpenters laid out the apartment units with chalk lines so that the plumbers and electricians could begin working.

They also built the first floor demising walls between the retail units.

And now for some interior shots – 2nd Floor addition in suite 206 looking south:

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Corridor in addition leading to original building:

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Standing in rear of 2nd floor of the original building looking towards Huron Street:

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Looking west on 2nd floor through units 202 & 201:

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3rd floor hallway in original building:

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Windows and Doors

The original wood corner door from 1908 was rescued many years ago by a gentleman in town.  It couldn’t be used again – but we copied it for the new door. I am so appreciative that we were able to replicate an original piece of the building. Dennis from NVC installed the new corner door and then boarded it up afterwards so it would remain a surprise.


Great Northern Insulation foamed the north rear wall.  Next come the bricks.

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Great Northern spent 7 days spraying foam on the 2nd and 3rd floor walls and the 3rd floor ceiling in the original building.  It is a beautiful shade of purple.  We want to insure that the suites will be cozy warm for the tenants.

Purple insulation in suite 304 looking into suite 303:

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Ernie, I hope you like your purple suite!

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Cathedral ceilings foamed in 301 & 302:

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Miscellaneous Metal Fabrication & Staircases

Metcon returned on July 8th with their crane and lifted beams into the stairwells to hold the staircases. They also installed steel on the rear west wall to add support for the decorative brick ledges.

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The stairs and landing pans have also been delivered and installed.  A layer of concrete will be poured on top of both of them.  They cannot be used until the railings are fabricated and installed by Ed Lau. Ed is waiting for final drawings from our architect.

Bob from NVC framing in the stairs. Heh Bob – you are in the wrong building!

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Blake from Conestoga Mechanical finished the underground plumbing rough-ins for the restaurant. He also installed a sump pit in the basement.

Blake began the plumbing for the 2nd and 3rd floor and will continue in August.

3 Roof Drains were installed:

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You can see some of the openings on the old roof where the steel posts were dropped through:

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The electricians began doing their rough-ins on the third floor of the original building.

Tiny Tim installed ceiling electrical boxes on third floor:

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Todd Eby from New Hamburg, installed electrical plugs 18″ from the floor for the convenience of the residents:

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Concluding Remarks:

The Imperial is looking a little more like her former self each week.

The sign band over the first floor is being finished by Dennis.  After the boards are added, the trim will be attached.

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The three-storey addition is closed in except for the windows.  Once they are installed, work will commence inside.

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Our second-youngest granddaughter who was born on June 30, came to visit Imperial on a weekend.

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Kate was impressed with the front-end loader.

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While I was on the roof last week, I took some photos of neighbouring buildings:

Shain Arnott’s Commercial House:

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Dave Bender’s B-W Feed Mill:

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John Zehr’s Mammoth Block:

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John Zehr’s Ernst Block [left half]:

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