Holland College | A Window to the Past: Students complete work on Province House Restoration
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A Window into the Past: Students complete project at Province House

The Heritage Retrofit Carpentry team pose with a completed window pane inside Province House National Historic Site

 It’s been three years in the making, but installation is finally underway for two very special windows at Province House National Historic Site (NHS). As part of a partnership between Parks Canada and Holland College, students in the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry Program were invited to restore two original windows for this landmark historic site.

The project began in 2019, but delays due to Covid provided an unexpected opportunity for even more students to work on these historic windows. In total, three classes have contributed to the project, which required disassembling the windows, removing rot, replacing missing pieces, and restoring the windows to their original condition. The latest cohort of students worked to replace the glass panes and complete the painting on the windows to prepare for installation. 

The students worked closely with Parks Canada, Heritage Grade, and an expert window conservator to ensure their work met the specifications outlined in the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. 

“Parks Canada is exceptionally proud of the collaboration we have had with Holland College and the ability to foster a sense of ownership and pride in the students who have helped conserve these two original windows as part of the Province House National Historic Site conservation project,” Karen Jans, PEI Field Unit Superintendent.

After much care and hard work, the restoration is complete, and work is underway to install the windows to their previous home on the first floor of Province House NHS. Students were on-site to see the project to completion.

Parks Canada Project Manager, Nicolle Gallant visits with students in the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry Shop

“Being a part of this project has been very special!” says Heritage Retrofit Carpentry Student Heather Harris.

“Getting to work so closely with historic windows that are over 150 years old was an incredible and valuable experience, and I feel very lucky to have been involved with the restoration of a building that played such an important role in the province and country’s history”. 

For program instructor Josh Silver, it’s just one more example of the diverse opportunities available to students who pursue a career in Heritage Retrofit Carpentry.  

“It’s been an incredible experience for our students to work on a project with so much historical significance,” says Heritage Retrofit Carpentry Instructor, Josh Silver.  

“Getting to work with Parks Canada on this and other projects gives students a true perspective of the demand for skilled tradespeople who can preserve and protect a building’s character while updating it to the environmental standards we have today”.

Image Credit: Parks Canada


To learn more about the Province House National Historic Site conservation project, visit the Parks Canada website

For information about the Heritage Retrofit Carpentry Program, visit our Program Page


For more information, please contact:
Michelle MacNeil, Social Media Officer
Tel: 902-566-9695
Date: May 13, 2022