The old stone wall surrounding Fort Frontenac in downtown Kingston is currently undergoing restoration work.
Anyone who takes the LaSalle Causeway in or out of town has no doubt seen the progress. Global News got behind the wall on Friday.
It may not look like it, but a team of 16 skilled tradespeople are preserving history — not only that of Kingston, but Canada. The wall is older than the country itself, in fact.
Major Steve Madore with National Defence Real Property Operations Unit says it dates back to the 1820s.
“It is part of the military history of Canada,” Madore said.
“Heritage buildings are very important to the Government of Canada and DND because it does remind people of the sacrifice and the history of the military.”
It was behind the historic wall where the original Fort Frontenac was first built back in 1673.
This is stage two — or the second summer — of a three-summer project. The deteriorating wall is like so many other limestone structures in Kingston as it has also fallen victim to Mother Nature and the freeze-thaw cycle which plays havoc with the stones.
Jeff Graf, who works for Santin Masonry, is the project foreman.
“We’re keeping the inside wall, but the outside wall we tear down and drill dowels in 10 to 12 feet and put trend it rod down in and grout it,” Graf explained.
“And then put wall ties in, every metre to hold the wall solid.”
This is a special project for Graf as his father was the foreman on the same site over 40 years ago after the wall had fallen on the Wolfe Island side of the property. He and his two brothers were a part of that project.
The cost for three summers of wall repair is said to be between $4 and $5 million.