Projects | Heritage | Harness Maker Shop 


Doon Heritage Village - Harness Maker Shop


Harnessing History

Experiencing a community where a harness maker would outfit your horse and repair your shoes



The Region of Waterloo commissioned John MacDonald Architect to design a historically accurate reproduction of a harness shop in Doon Heritage Village in 1914, meet today's building systems requirements and codes, and be a space for learning with demonstrations to the general public. The new building reproduces one that was previously sitting on the same site and was affected regularly by flooding. The new design raised the main floor to resolve challenges that come from sitting on the flood plain. The modern electrical and mechanical systems are discreetly disguised within the historical architecture of the shop. Through close consultation with Doon project staff, the JMA team researched and sourced historical construction materials and methods of the time period, which were documented for construction in drawings and specifications.


Our Role:

Design, Documentation, Procurement, Contract Administration.



The reconstruction of the harness shop occurred during the most busy time at Doon Heritage Village and could not interfere with the museum's operations. Working with the Contractor to achieve this required effective coordination and communication, as well as the skills to foster positive relations between all involved.




Project Data


New Build



Kitchener, Ontario

64 m² (690 sq. ft.)?

Construction Completed 2016