Saint John City Market restoration a challenging necessity, architect says

Saint John market restoration a challenging necessity
WATCH: The city market in Saint John is beloved by residents and visitors alike – and it play an important role in the economic vibrancy in the uptown. As Todd Veinotte explains, an ongoing renovation has proven to be challenging and necessary.

The City Market in Saint John is beloved by residents and visitors alike, and it plays an important role in the economic vibrancy in the uptown. But ongoing renovations have proven to be challenging.

Over the decades the City Market sustained damage resulting from infrastructure problems and flooding, most recently in 2015.

READ MORE: Saint John set to tackle residential deer population

Architect Malcolm Boyd says there was no shortage of surprises once crews began demolishing

“There were layers and layers of renovations,” says Boyd. “When they renovated they just kept adding flooring on top of flooring, and they would just drop a ceiling on top of another ceiling, so there were walls everywhere.”

“None of these joists or bricks were exposed, so we recommended we’ve got to uncover all this stuff to know what we’re up against.”

Story continues below advertisement

The work wasn’t cheap either. All three levels of government contributed to the $7-million project, which included extensive outside work, as well.

Once completed, the main tower will be home to city staff. Mayor Don Darling says although the 9,000 square feet of office space will be state of the art, great efforts were taken to maintain historical integrity.

“We painstakingly recreated some ornamental elements, some dormers on the exterior, we ordered matching sandstone from quarries in Nova Scotia, we had master masons work on this building, we re-established some ornamental elements on the outside of the building that were taken down during the war,” Darling says.

READ MORE: ‘New vision of church’ becomes clear as Saint John Catholic diocese announces closure of 9 churches

Funding was secured in 2016 and work began soon after. Project manager Samar Yammine says the response has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“The feedback we get from the community on the importance of the project, from the government, two levels of government, the provincial level and the federal level of government, so we are very pleased with what we have achieved so far on this project,” says Yammine.

Work is expected to wrap up in the spring of 2019.

*With a file from a report from Todd Veinotte.

Story continues below advertisement