Projects | Adaptive Reuse | Independent Living Centre 


Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region Tenant Upgrades


Post and Beam Industrial Building Gets a Lift 

The Independent Living Centre of Waterloo Region (ILCWR) has occupied this universally accessible second floor office space with great success for themselves and their clients



An early 20th century shoe factory in Kitchener got a new life when the owner of the property, the ILCWR and John MacDonald Architect's creative abilities came together to craft a viable plan for the future of the building. A new two storey lobby with a LULA (Limited Use/Limited Application) elevator, the first of its type in Canada, opened up the second storey for this tenant that required universal accessibility. The old windows were retrofitted to become interior office partitions. Dropped ceiling "clouds" provided the sound attenuation necessary without impinging on the open post and beam architecture. The office space has a bright and open feeling that provides comfort and meets the safety needs of its occupants.


Our Role:

Feasibility study, site plan, design, documentation, procurement, and construction administration of both base building renovation and tenant fit-up.



JMA retained the historic character of this industrial building while completely renewing the building systems with numerous modern energy efficiencies. Working together with both the building owner and its tenants, JMA was able to meet the needs of both stakeholders. This project exceeded expectations and was recognized by the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) in 2005.


“John MacDonald Architect was a key part of our success in meeting our business plans and objectives. We purchased this building for our retail operations and leased the unused space to obtain secondary profits. The architect not only envisioned all possibilities and solutions but directed us to the best course of action, achieving a cost-effective product.”


— Noel McInnis

President, Summerco Properties Inc


Project Data

Adaptive Reuse / Public Services


Construction Management


Kitchener, Ontario

560 m² (6,000 sq. ft.)​

Completed 2004