Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation for Fuller Post Office restoration in Smiths Falls
A local landmark in Smiths Falls has been successfully restored to above and beyond its former beauty and the building’s owner, Bruce Linton, is being recognized with the Lieutenant Governor’s Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation for his contribution to preserving Ontario’s heritage.
The Fuller Post Office at 30 Russell St. E. was originally designed by Thomas Fuller, chief architect to the dominion of Canada from 1881 to 1886 and has been part of an extensive restoration orchestrated by the building owner, Bruce Linton. Linton received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award on Feb. 18, 2021, in recognition of his contributions to heritage conservation.
Originally constructed in 1894 using local red-brown sandstone on a foundation of Beckwith Township limestone, the Fuller Post Office closed in 1964 and received heritage designation in 1978.
Linton purchased the endangered heritage building which was in a state of disrepair in October of 2018 and undertook restoration between February 2019 and October 2020.
His intent was to restore the Romanesque Revival style building to its former glory. The restoration involved a complete renovation from basement to clocktower and extensive research to ensure architectural details and millwork restorations were made using traditional methods and accurate materials.
Linton explained it was the beauty of the building that initially inspired his restoration project.
“She caught my eye when I first passed through town. I visited her cautiously for years and a love grew that was costly and worth every penny,” said Linton.
Linton acknowledged those who put time and commitment into getting the project over the finish line, including project manager, Dwight Brown, AFM Construction team lead Ryan Peters, specialty mason’s work undertaken by Paul Moure, electricians and plumbing.
Smiths Falls Mayor, Shawn Pankow, commented on the importance of the restoration in preserving an important architectural landmark in the community. “The Fuller Post Office is a building that has long been regarded as one of our most important heritage assets and means something to everyone in Smiths Falls. It had long been in need of an owner who possessed the vision and commitment to restore it to its
original glory and we were thrilled when Bruce [Linton] purchased it with an eye towards restoration,” said Pankow.
Established in 2007, the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards are annual juried awards administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust to recognize remarkable achievements in heritage conservation. These inspirational achievements signal the important role that heritage conservation plays in Ontario’s communities, especially during this challenging time. In response to COVID-19, this year the award ceremony took place virtually as part of the Trust’s annual Heritage Week celebrations.