St. Thomas consolidated courthouse project moves ahead


For Immediate Release February 8, 2011

Preserving the past; building for the future

ST. THOMAS – Steps to preserve the unique heritage aspects of the historic Elgin County Courthouse on Wellington Street are underway, as the process to build the new St. Thomas Consolidated Courthouse continues.

Salvage operations will begin this week on some of the buildings on the courthouse property including the former Governor’s Residence.
Workers on the site will begin salvaging the bricks and slate roof from the former Governor’s Residence. Most of the salvaged materials will be presented to the City of St. Thomas for use in the restoration and repair of municipal buildings. The remainder of the materials will be available for sale to the community, the proceeds of which will go to the St. Thomas Municipal Heritage Committee for preservation work in the area.

Once salvage efforts have been completed, demolition of other buildings will occur to prepare the site for new construction. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2011 and be complete in 2014.

The unique heritage features of the property, including the former Land Registry Office, will be conserved and incorporated in the new design. The historic courthouse will be rehabilitated through conservation of the exterior masonry and sculptural details, woodwork, windows and distinctive courthouse dome. On the interior, the main courtroom, with its original fittings, furniture and stained glass dome will be restored and will continue to be used for court functions.

When complete the new courthouse will consolidate two existing courthouses – the Superior Court of Justice at 8 Wellington Street and the Ontario Court of Justice at 145 Curtis Street – into one modern,
accessible facility.

“Preserving the heritage aspects of the Elgin County Courthouse is a key component of the development and construction of the new consolidated courthouse project and I am very pleased to
see the process has started,” Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Steve Peters said.

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