case Studies

Tapestry Hall | Cambridge, Ontario

Key Personnel
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Kurt Ruhland, P.Eng.
Vice President
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Project Overview

Located in the Gaslight District of West Galt and originally constructed in 1800s, the building known today as Tapestry Hall is a heritage building reinvented into a premier event venue that brings the Cambridge community together to celebrate its past, present and future. The landmark building was the location of the Dumfries Foundry, operating as factory that manufactured industrial equipment from the mid-1800s until its closure in 1987.

The 250,000-ft2 building was restored by the new owners who instead of tearing down the existing structure and re-building, saw value and opportunity in restoring the existing structure and maintaining its industrial character. MTE was retained to provide structural engineering services throughout the revival. Our team’s work involved extensive repairs and renovations of the original structure, as well as the design of several new elements that would modernize the building.  As a result of our work,  we were recognized with an ACEC Grand River Chapter Award of Merit.

With renovations complete, the historical space allows all members of the community to come together and celebrate any large gathering from corporate events to weddings. The space was designed to seat 650 people, with a standing room for more than 1,100. It houses kitchen facilities, a bar, a bridal lounge, a stage, a 20-foot-wide video screen and an impressive art installation over the main entrance. Situated just a walk away from the Grand River, Tapestry Hall breathes life back into what was once an unrealized area into an invigorated downtown core that pays homage to Cambridge’s rich heritage.

MTE’s Involvement

Our team’s consultation centered on the structural transformation of the building through reinforcement and repairs to the building shell. This phase of the development involved the design and specifications of new stairs, an elevator, a bridge, utility rooms, and a new mezzanine. The project team also set to make various changes to doors and windows, relocate the masonry arches, structurally reinforce of the roof, and restore the masonry. Our team completed the contract administration, as well as site inspections in order to ensure construction was being completed as laid out in the approved design.

Throughout the project, our team was challenged with restoring and reviving the historic building while also preserving its legacy and recognizable appearance. This required the combination of old and new technologies as well as adaptability to bring generations of successive renovations to a final cohesive design. The team also had to strike a balance of maintaining structural preservation while completing the necessary renovations in order to bring the century-old structure up to new building code requirements. As a heritage building, our team grappled with the issue of age, as the exact condition of the structure was initially difficult to determine. The project team often encountered hidden or buried issues that would appear throughout construction that required further repairs and solutions.

Upon completion, Tapestry Hall has become a landmark venue for celebrations within the Cambridge community and has revitalized the downtown core of West Galt.