$1-Million Mackenzie Hall Restoration Nears Completion

The $1-million façade restoration of Windsor’s historic Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre is nearly complete, and more improvements are planned as part of Council’s $3-million commitment over the next decade to conserve the heritage property.

The first phase of the masonry restoration project, valued at $1,032,244, was launched in 2021 and saw the landmark building at 3277 Sandwich Street West draped in scaffolding for several months as specialized crews performed the meticulous task of repairing damaged stones, repointing the mortar in-between the building’s iconic limestone and sandstone blocks and removing some plant debris. This work was undertaken not only to conserve the facility’s architectural integrity and elegance but also to protect it from deterioration by directing water away from the building.

Although most of the masonry restoration work planned as part of the Phase One improvements was completed in November, a few outstanding items are scheduled to continue this year. This includes painting all exterior woodwork, restoring windows and replacing the flat roof. This work is expected to begin in the summer and will not require a full scaffolding of the building, nor will it interfere with programming at Mackenzie Hall.

The 10-year capital budget approved by Council earmarks about $3 million toward improvements to Mackenzie Hall, including funding for proposed renovations to the second-floor washrooms in 2023; and the ongoing preservation and maintenance of the building envelope, building systems and finishes, as well as the surrounding site.

Mackenzie Hall was built in 1855-1856 by Alexander Mackenzie, who became the second prime minister of Canada in 1873. Originally a courthouse and jail, Mackenzie Hall is a cultural hub in Windsor’s historic Sandwich Town, offering space for theatre and other performing arts, art galleries, meeting facilities and a ballroom for private rentals and special events.

Quotes:

“Mackenzie Hall is not only one of Windsor’s most iconic architectural landmarks but also one of our most treasured community hubs. Our investment in the conservation of this important heritage property ensures that it remains a welcoming cultural centre where residents can access its unique spaces and diverse services to make lasting memories, learn new skills and strengthen social bonds in the heart of historic Sandwich Town.” - Mayor Drew Dilkens

“Mackenzie Hall is a community gem in the heart of Sandwich Town and this important restoration work not only preserves the building for the next generation, but also conforms to its unique heritage and design. I am very proud of Council’s investment in this important project.” - Councillor Fabio Costante, Ward 2

“Recognizing the heritage value that Mackenzie Hall represents for Windsor, we endeavour to use sound conservation practices in its preservation and restoration to maintain this piece of Windsor’s history for future generations.” - Tom Graziano, Senior Manager, Facilities

Latest News