Reflecting on the Remarkable Construction Story of the Bata Shoe Factory: Part Two

Updated: Jan 29

In Part One of this series, we touched upon the unique history of the Bata Shoe Factory in Batawa, ON that we helped convert into a mixed-use condominium, as well as a few stories related to its construction.

In Part Two, we dive a little deeper and tell more stories related to the construction activities led by our team to deliver the $34M adaptive reuse project. Let's take it from the top: the building's roof.


If you take the elevator past the fifth floor to the roof, you will find a 16,800 sq. ft. patio with expansive, panoramic views that include forests, the Trent River and the Batawa Ski Hill–depending on your vantage point.


Behold.


The original roof did not feature a patio, but, interestingly, it did house a water tower, which you can see in this photo taken prior to the demolition work that stripped the building back to its structural frame.



Because of its age and poor condition, the entire roof had to be removed and rebuilt.


Here’s a before and after comparison of the building's roof.



The new roof now includes:


- A new common space to house elevators, a vestibule and mechanical services.


- A glass guard stretching 530 linear feet that protect visitors.


- 1,520 multi-coloured, concrete pavers that were meticulously placed according to a specific pattern.


Take a moment to compare the two photos below depicting the old factory and the new condo. Notice any new additions that increases the square footage on the upper floors? (here's a hint: there are 24 of them).

Balconies.


Our team added 52 in total as part of the scope of work. Each 11,000-pound, precast balcony was manufactured in a facility offsite and then delivered to the project. Here is a photo of one of the first balconies to arrive for installation and rigorous testing before they were manufactured.

Each balcony was anchored to the building using two, steel outriggers, which were designed to prevent movement and vibration.


Here’s a photo of the first test. You can see the outriggers located underneath the balcony.

Thanks to thoughtful design and our team's meticulous attention-to-detail, it now appears as though the balconies were a part of the building from its inception, as this photo demonstrates.

The Bata Shoe Factory is the first phase of an ambitious plan to revitalize the Batawa area, and we take great pride in the role we have played in the latest chapter of this community's rich history.