St. Michaels Cathedral

Project Lead: Marc Ferguson

Builder: Buttcon Limited

$120M Historical Restoration

Construction Management Contract, implementation of construction related to the historical restoration of St. Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Toronto. 

Effectively managed project timelines, construction phasing and budget; fostering teamwork and innovative constructability solutions and value engineering that saved the Arch Diocese of Toronto time and money. 

New Crypt Chapel:  Created from the existing crawl space beneath the main floor of the Cathedral

Narthex Rehabilitation: including insertion of new stairs and a new elevator from the crypt level to the new balcony.

Balcony: Demolition of existing balcony which was condemned by the building department due to structural issues. This included removal of the existing Warren Organ. Construction of new expanded balcony with new Casavant organ. 

Nave: New Decorative painting on ceiling, replacement of existing structural columns which were discovered to be failing. New slate floor, new lighting and sound system and new pews.

Transepts:  New bonze exit doors and restoration of existing rose windows which had been boarded up

Sanctuary:  New marble floors, new altar and reredos screen.  New vestry area behind sanctuary

St Johns Chapel and new Atrium:  Included new basement level containing new Electrical vault and centralized mechanical plant servicing all buildings on the cathedral property

Exterior Masonry and roofing replacement and restoration:  Included many stone carved elements, decorative bronze finials and restoration of existing windows.

There were many challenges as the project slowly revealed existing hidden conditions and what the building required.  In a collaborative approach project design, timelines, construction phasing and budget were discussed on a weekly basis with the management team. Teamwork and innovative solutions led to many value engineering opportunities that saved the Arch Diocese of Toronto time and money.

Budget administration and reporting were key project success factors.  Established project budget allocations and developed the Construction Management Report which provides transparent executive summaries and highly detailed cost reporting, budget analysis and forecasting on a monthly basis.

Instrumental in negotiating multi-million-dollar contracts with trade contractors to obtain best value for the client while mitigating project risk factors to eliminate or minimize impacts on project schedule, quality and budget.

Marc Provided overall strategic oversight and quality assurance and lead the development of a unique project vision.

Marc’s ability to effectively articulate project success factors and efficiently mediate risk management issue resolution resulted in the Archdiocese awarding further phases of work to the company. 

Marc continues to participate in the overall Cathedral Block Development plan and vision for the re-vitalization of a most significant icon in the Catholic Church and Toronto landscape.

The scope of work was extensive and included complete masonry and roof restoration and replacements along with the creation of a new Crypt Chapel, where only a crawl space had existing previously, introduction of new HVAC systems for the Cathedral, a new balcony, new pipe organ, new pews, stained glass windows, painting schemes for walls and ceilings new slate flooring and complete renovation and restoration of the sanctuary area including new marble alter and lecterns.  The scope is so extensive it is hard to capture it all in one or two paragraphs. Multiple video links are included in the TRiNiTi website; produced by Concrete Pictures, Toronto.

The Cathedral remained open throughout the construction process and was closed only once due to the discovery of failing roof support columns within the Nave. The Cathedral was closed while all existing unit masonry columns were replaced with new concrete columns

 Project challenges included:

  • Complicated historical restorations
  • Renovations and new construction executed while building operations continued
  • Creating a new basement where only a crawl space existed
  • Structural design
  • Existing interments requiring Archaeologist.