National Trust Announces Recipients of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Awards

We are humbled to receive the National Trust Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award for Building Heritage. A very special thank you to Silvergate Homes for being our partner to bring our vision for The Post Office to life. Thank you Lola Emberson of the City of Thorold for nominating us. We love being a part of downtown Thorold’s revitalization.  Congratulations to Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on your National Trust Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award.  We are so proud to be a part of helping to make Niagara shine on a national stage.

Hamilton, ON, October 19, 2016 – Natalie Bull, Executive Director of the National Trust for Canada, today announced the recipients of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Awards for Building Heritage.

Generously sponsored by Ecclesiastical Insurance, these awards bring national attention to projects that have successfully and creatively renewed and adapted historic places in ways that enhance community, local identity and sense of place.

The 2016 recipients were selected by an independent jury based on nominations from across the country.

Five projects are being recognized this year:

  • The McInnes Cooper Building (former Dawson Hardware Building), Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
  • La gare historique de la MRC d’Argenteuil, Lachute, Québec
  • La Maison de la littérature, Québec City, Québec
  • The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Building, St. Catharines, Ontario
  • The Post Office Rehabilitation, Thorold, Ontario

The Post Office Rehabilitation, Thorold, Ontario
18 Front St N, Thorold

Owner: Shannon and Micheal Passero
Architects: Silvergate Homes

This project reflects a successful integration of many goals, including heritage conservation, smart growth and energy efficiency, and a desire on the part of the owner to contribute to the ongoing vitality of the Thorold’s main street. The owner made a conscious decision to reuse an existing historic building instead of other options, and demonstrated that successful conservation projects can be carried out with modest budgets.

Officially opened in May 1936, the Post Office remains an impressive landmark on Thorold’s Front Street.  Originally housing several federal services, including the customs and post offices, it served as a focal point and meeting place for residents of the community. The building was designated in 2003 under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The historic building was empty for nearly a decade when Shannon Passero saw its potential, purchased the building and initiated the rehabilitation project in 2014. Working closely with the Heritage Thorold Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, Passero approached the conservation of the original features with care and sensitivity. The project re-used the original pane windows and restored and refinished the terrazzo flooring in the bathrooms. New interior and exterior lighting elements were duplicated to reflect the period of the building and a new art deco inspired drop ceiling was included to maintain the design features consistent with the 1930s.

The Post Office project was executed by Shannon and Micheal Passero and Silvergate Homes and nominated by Lola Emberson, City of Thorold. Governor