The one and a half storey Fraser Schoolhouse in downtown Ottawa, Canada, was built in 1837 as living quarters for mill hands of Thomas MacKay, one of the most prominent of contemporary local industrialists.
Today it stands alone on block-size park owned, since 1959, by the National Capital Commission, a branch of the Canadian federal government. The stone house is designated as a heritage building for its architectural and historical value. Originally built as a semi-detached dwelling, one half was used as a school between 1838 and 1844. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Ottawa.
The objective of the renovations and addition was to provide modern office accommodation for a fledgling venture capital company. As a heritage building, its exterior would remain unchanged.
In its as-found condition, it was sub-standard accommodation and failed on many counts to meet Ontario Building Code regulations. Moreover, its small area of 600 square feet meant that an addition was required. Given the heritage designation, it was critically important to minimize the impact of the renovations and the addition.