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While many in the neighbourhood have been aware of the Westinghouse landmark for years, in 2016 our team’s direct involvement began when we started to peel back the layers of history to discover much of the original and storied Westinghouse HQ. The striking building was constructed in 1917 by the Canadian arm of Westinghouse Company and is located at Sanford Avenue in Hamilton.

The office structure was designed by architects Prack and Perrine, predecessors to Prack and Prack, who designed notable Hamilton buildings including the Pigott Building and Lister Block.

Local firm, mcCallumSather, are the architects, mechanical engineers, interior designers and also specialize in the heritage process on the project.From the initial entry into the derelict building to the grand opening in the New Year, they are helping to bring life back to this iconic Hamilton landmark.

Christina Karney, Senior Architect, at mcCallumSather explains, “Before we began our investigation of the property, we uncovered original drawings that featured the unique details within the space but had no idea if they would be there when we first entered the building. With the property being derelict for decades, windows were boarded up and there was no way of knowing what treasures still remained as records of recent renovations had not been kept.”

Extensive demolition took place removing interior finishes to strip back to the original features. Originally the building was constructed as a 5 storey brick building while 6th and 7th storeys were added in 1928.

7th Floor Restoration

The building was very well recorded during construction, which is another very unique feature of this project. There are photos of the project at each stage of construction as well as the original lobby space, a rarity for buildings of this age.

Through a sensitive interior demolition process, mcCallumSather were able to uncover historic materials and features, including original marble, Terrazzo and mosaic tile flooring, decorative plaster ceilings and a hidden theatre.

Decorative Plaster Ceiling in the Lobby

Lead architect, Drew Hauser, shares his perspective, “One of the biggest surprises of the project was the theatre auditorium that we uncovered at the west end of the building. You wouldn’t have believed what this particular space looked like when we first started. A large portion of the intricate detail around the perimeter was covered up and the substantial room was divided into 6 separate rooms. Three layers of ceiling covered the elaborate plasterwork, which thankfully protected the original plaster over time. Likewise, we were unaware of the original flooring in the theater until we started peeling back the cover and discovered it was fully intact and had been protected for all these years. The design is incredible, it’s very unique and was really quite exceptional for its time.”

Auditorium Restoration

The exterior of the building is designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. The designation includes all the exterior elements, except for two entrance doors. The designation by-law states that it is: “Important to the preservation of the Canadian Westinghouse head office building are the original architectural feature of all four exterior facades, including the brick masonry wall. The stone trim and the wood-framed, double–hung windows, but excluding the modern entrance doors on the east and west facades.”

As noted, it was important to repair as many of the original windows as possible to comply with the Ontario Heritage Act. Due to the condition of many windows, the scale of the building and modern building codes, mcCallumSather were opted a strategy that combined repair and replacement. Repair of the original windows were focused on ground level where the detail was of the highest quality and because it is in a space with the most public access and impact.

“The replacement windows match the original aesthetic. The original walnut windows are being restored by local firm Heritage Mill, who are also fixing up the hardware and glass throughout the main floor” said Christina Karney.

“As the designation does not include any interior elements the developers were under no obligation to complete interior heritage work. Thankfully, their passion for the project has allowed us to restore many exceptional features of the original design.

It has been a joy to work on the project. Westinghouse HQ is an excellent example of the Classical Revival style and it’s been a pleasure to see these historic items come to life as we continue to work on the project.”

For updates on the project, please sign up for our email list at the bottom of our home page, here and for leasing inquiries, please email us at

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Updated: Aug 18, 2018

The incredible journey of reviving Westinghouse HQ has been a collaborative effort involving many talented and dedicated people. To share some further details and insight into our journey, we would like to introduce the construction firm that has been managing the project’s rebuild, Collaborative Structures Ltd. (CSL). Below is a brief interview with key members of the team:

Please introduce CSL’s work and why you’ve chosen to be involved in the Westinghouse HQ redevelopment.

Collaborative Structures Ltd. (CSL) is a leader in construction management, general contracting, and design build services within Southwestern Ontario. Our emphasis is on Project Execution Excellence throughout the entire design and build process. That is how we achieve smart builds, on-time and on-budget. It’s a philosophy that has guided us from the start in 2003, when CSL was established by our Founder & President, David Timlock, P. Eng.

CSL Team

Collaboration is our strong point, demonstrated in over 200 projects on behalf of dozens of clients. CSL jumped at the chance to be involved in the Westinghouse project, we really saw it as a chance to help modernize and revitalize the area.

Heritage Restoration

Heritage restoration work is a meaningful activity for our firm as it breathes new life into significant buildings from the past. Heritage restoration tends to be one of the most difficult build types because there are a number of unforeseeable challenges and the entire build team has to work collaboratively to ensure that modern standards are met while maintaining the historical elements of the project. Working with Westinghouse HQ and team has been a successful collaboration.

Please share a summary of the construction journey until the present and any special or unique aspects of restoring and working on this historic building.

As a designated heritage building built in 1917, there have been many unique elements about working on this project. When working on a heritage site, there are strict parameters that we must adhere to in order to protect the historical aspects of the building. The extent of work can vary—from a cosmetic facelift of some architectural finishes—to a complete rebuild while maintaining the original architectural features. At Westinghouse HQ certain windows and doors are designated heritage and as such, must be maintained and refinished rather than replaced. The majority of the outside façade, brick and stone, have been preserved.

There have been many notable discoveries during the construction process. One of those examples is the revelation of structural clay tiles used in the original construction throughout the building. Speed tiles, as they are commonly called, were used in the early 1900’s because it was lightweight and was good for fire protection.

Speed Tiles

The speed tiles, seen in this picture around the door frame, created rebuild challenges for everything from elevator shaft reworking to hanging light fixtures and ductwork.

At this point in the construction we have replaced windows, the entire roof structure and membrane; and we have enlarged the elevator shaft to fit two elevator cabs to meet today’s standard. All of the perimeter walls now have spray insulation and drywall. Mechanical areaways for HVAC intake/exhausts are underway, and all underground plumbing is complete. We are currently working on foundations for the front vestibule and the Terrazzo, plaster ceilings, walls, and mouldings are being refinished on the main floor.

Please give us an update on where the project currently is, in terms of the timeline of completion.

The anticipated completion is scheduled for the end of October.

For updates on the project, please sign up for our email list at the bottom of our home page, here and for leasing inquiries, please email us at

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Updated: Jun 28, 2018

Westinghouse HQ is a beautiful heritage building with deep roots in the Hamilton community and its industrial history. Sitting at the corner of Westinghouse Avenue, in the Barton Village neighborhood, the Canadian Westinghouse Company drove a boom in the economy and provided work for thousands of Hamiltonians.

This building represents much more than just another redevelopment project, but is a symbol of the renewed energy and vitality of Hamilton’s present and anticipated future. Today, Ray Hutton and Meir Dick are building on that tradition by restoring the building that was once one of Hamilton’s central institutions for employment and industrial activities. Local firm, mcCallumSather, are completing architectural, mechanical and heritage consultancy for the project. Westinghouse HQ offers over 40,000 SQ FT of office space and 10,000 SQ FT of retail space in a one-of-a-kind historic Hamilton landmark, opening fall 2018.

Looking Back: The Legacy of Westinghouse HQ

Before we can look forward and continue the story of Westinghouse HQ, we look back and pay tribute to the legacy that has gone before. We have the privilege of building on over 100 years of history as the story continues in 2018.

Westinghouse HQ is named after the visionary leader, scientist and inventor, George Westinghouse. George started his company, the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, in 1869 at the age of 23 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He revolutionized the electrical industry and was in direct competition with fellow inventor Thomas Edison.

Having completed the Niagara Falls Electric generation project, George Westinghouse saw potential and founded the Canadian branch of his company. Established in 1903, the Hamilton branch of the Canadian Westinghouse Company Ltd was the first site of the company outside of the United States. In the first years of operation, workers helped supply 9000 airbrake sets a year to the expanding Canadian railroad industry. At its peak in 1955, Westinghouse employed 11,000 people in Hamilton.

Once George Westinghouse founded the Hamilton branch, Paul Judson Myler, originally from Pittsburgh, became the general manager and then president of the Canadian Westinghouse Company in 1917. It’s only fitting that Myler would have one of the streets surrounding the building named after him in 1910, which still exists today.

By 1917, the company had outgrown its office space in Hamilton and executives decided to build a new head office. The new location was built across the street from the factory and included a bridge for easy movement between the office and the manufacturing buildings. A beautiful five-storey office building was designed by Prack & Perrine, local architects who were responsible for many architectural gems in Hamilton including the Pigott Building on James Street S. and Lister Building on James Street N. The building’s structure combines a reinforced concrete and structural steel frame with an ornate and historically significant brick and cut-stone facade. In 1928 two additional floors were added to the head office to respond to the company’s evolving needs and continued growth.

The Canadian Westinghouse Company manufactured a variety of electrical based products in Hamilton. Over the years, with the highs and lows of economic uncertainty, the company found ways of breaking into a variety of markets to keep profits up and employment consistent. The Westinghouse appliance tagline promoted its company reputation of trust and quality, “You can be SURE… if it’s Westinghouse.” People today can still remember Westinghouse televisions, radios and other appliances that they grew up with decades ago.

Looking Forward: Continuing the Story

The seven story Westinghouse HQ building is the only structure left of the sprawling 18 acres of real estate that once housed the Canadian Westinghouse Company. People who regularly encounter this building remember what it once was and have dreamt about what it might become. Having sat empty for 30 years, many have wondered about the next chapter and lasting legacy for this building.

As the building gets a new lease on life, creating meaningful connections to Westinghouse HQ’s history has continued to drive the design. The development team, understanding the building’s rich history and subsequent impact on families over the past 100 years, have used photographs and restored original details and materials to communicate the ongoing narrative of how this space has and continues to find significance to Hamiltonians.

Continue to follow our journey as we carry on the tradition and story of Hamilton’s Westinghouse HQ for a new generation.

For updates on the project, please sign up for our email list at the bottom of our home page, here and for leasing inquiries, please email us at

Sources: Manners, Sandy. Westinghouse/Siemens Westinghouse: 100 Years in Canada, 2003.

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