A preeminent landmark structure in Canada's capital dating back to the 1880s has undergone a facelift carried out by construction manager EllisDon and the Atwill-Morin Group. The building at the corner of Sparks and Metcalfe Streets has been at the centre of Ottawa's commercial district for nearly 150 years, and was originally known as the Montreal Telegraph Building.

Canada's Four Corners Building, image retrieved from Google Street View

Once housing the Merchants' Bank of Canada, Canada's Four Corners Building, as it is now known today, has evolved into a retail and office complex. The painstaking restoration process involved the removal of several stones and pieces of masonry for listing and evaluation. Some of the dismantled sections were in such poor shape that new stone had to be identically carved and applied to the building.

Detail of the stone portraits, image via Groupe Atwill-Morin

"It has been a challenge to tackle the refurbishment of this federal building listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places, while scrupulously respecting the elaborate Second Empire style of the building," said the Ontario Division President of the Atwill-Morin Group, Jonathan Atwill-Morin, who noted that the building was originally constructed of roughly squared stones contrasted with smooth stone accents. 

A section of stone to be applied to the building, image via Groupe Atwill-Morin

Atwill-Morin Group's portfolio includes a number of heritage restorations in the city, including the East and West Towers of the Canadian Parliament's Centre Block, the War Memorial, and the Royal Canadian Mint Building. The company is now working on refurbishing the southeast tower of the Canadian Parliament's East Block.

"It's a great opportunity to work on one of the most uniquely built heritage projects in the world," added Morin. "Every project is completed with the vision of giving Canadian citizens heritage buildings that will live on for future generations."