A Law Office with “Big City” Style in Port Hope

The projects we’re involved with are always interesting, and this one is certainly NO exception!

As a part of a larger project, the total refurbishment of an 1850’s building in downtown Port Hope, we were contracted to build the leasehold improvements for a tenant opening a new law office in the building. We were already busy with the overall project, but this tenant needed to be in business, in the building, by the first of July!

The building itself had required major structural work due to ill-advised alterations having been made during its century and a half of existence — in fact, parts were in danger of collapse! (see news article) However, we had rectified all of this by the time we were hired to fit out the new office — we had shored up the building and added a completely new wood frame bearing wall on one side. This replaced the original brick which was in sad shape. By going to a wood frame replacement, we actually created a stronger wall and saved the building owners a lot of money. The wall, being hollow, is now insulated to a far greater degree than the original brick could ever be.

Being a vintage building, there were lots of interesting materials and textures that could be retained and blended into the new office configuration: wide pine floors, rustic brick, dramatic concrete parged brick walls, exposed collar ties and more.

The new tenant had some great ideas on retaining the old surfaces wherever possible and this turned out really well as we were deconstructing the interior of another building at the time — a bank in nearby Cobourg and there were items there that we could use in this project.

It’s always been our policy to rescue and reuse good materials, and this was a golden opportunity. The bank, built in the 1970’s, had beautiful solid core oak doors with matching trim; full height office partitions with large plate glass inserts and more oak trim; beautiful ceramic tile floors that could be removed tile by tile and much more.

I’m proud to say that all of this has been incorporated in the new law office in Port Hope and the effect is stunning! We were able to integrate a feature wall in the reception with thin cut wood “fleches” using Distillery District Wood salvaged from the historic Gooderham and Worts Distillery District in Toronto. More of this wood was used to build a dramatic stair with raw metal railings and supports fabricated on site by my son, Conor. The reception desk also uses this wood.

The tenant’s choices in industrial lighting fixtures light up this eclectic workspace beautifully. We’re very proud to have worked with this client in creating this fabulous space.

And yes, we got him in by July first!


“Rob and his team did an incredible job renovating my new law office. I wanted a stylish space with an emphasis on retaining as much of the original and exposed elements of the building and incorporating reused and re-purposed materials, as possible. Rob and his team really delivered exactly what I wanted in an incredibly tight time frame.
Rob is a true collaborator.  Rob really listened to what I wanted and made excellent suggestions as to how to better achieve my ideas. He is thoughtful and creative and managed the project with an eye to efficiency and cost-effectiveness.  From the custom staircase down to the smallest details, the overall product is hip, functional, and beautiful.
I cannot speak highly enough of Rob’s team. At all times they were friendly, helpful and dynamic.  Despite various obstacles, the entire team remained committed to getting me into my space on time. I am truly grateful to all that Rob and his team did on this project. I simply love it.”
Jason Schmidt, Schmidt Law Legal Services

Green Bros Construction renovations and restoration

Part of the stair made with recycled wood from the Distillery District and custom welded rails before clear coating.

Green Bros Construction renovations and restoration

The photo above shows the “fleche” wall and reception desk.