Bricks could have come crashing down at Kimberley Hall

The exterior brickwork at Kimberley Hall was found to be sitting directly on the earth, as was the wooden sill plate which was affected by moisture.

That discovery was made during recent work on the facade, and led to a quick decision to close the hall and shore up the walls.

Council passed a motion last week approving an additional $25,000 to complete the work at the hall.

The building was originally built from wood, with a single layer of brick added later. The wood sill plate at the base of the building was sitting directly on the soil and has started to rot with damage spreading to the vertical studs, a report to council said last week.

The hall was closed for use in February due to the risk of the bricks collapsing.

The trouble originally observed was the brickwork bowing away from the building. The 2023 budget set aside money to work on that specific problem. But contractors didn’t want to take on the job until engineers had found the underlying cause.

So, in February this year about $6,000 from the $20,000 approved in 2023 was used to have RJ Burnside do a building envelope study.

The firm recommended the building be closed immediately after its first visit to the site.

In late March, council approved further work, including brickwork and the concrete pad being removed and re-installed, as well as foundation test pits, at an estimated cost of $85,000.

That investigation uncov­ered the lack of support for the bricks and rotting of wood. The “urgency and criticality” of the situation led to the CAO using delegated powers to authorize immediate repairs costing $25,000.

Supports are being installed to hold the building up while the wood is replaced and a concrete support for the sill is poured. The estimated cost is $25,000 for repairs and $5,000 for engineered supports or shoring.


The precast name plate that says Kimberley Memorial Hall was found to be resting only on the 4-inch brick and held in place only by mortar. The 12’ x 2’ x 6” sign weighs about 1,000 pounds.

The engineer said to be safely re-installed would require structural steel framing and reinforcement of the lumber framing.

Staff recommended using the monument as a focal point on the grounds, on a frost protected wall, dressed in original brick and finished with a decorative cap. The cost was estimated at $10,000.

The concrete pad at the front of the building which has been replaced several times, was also poured on grade it was found. The replacement of the pad was already included in the budget, but there will be an added cost of $9,000 to install frost protection walls to protect it from further damage.

As well, an abandoned tank found below grade will be filled with concrete, because it looks as though a concrete grade beam added during another renovation may extend over it.


More than one hundred years ago, in 1921, Kimberley decided to commemorate its First World War soldiers.

Residents did this, not with a statue, but with the construction of a community hall containing within it a plaque listing the soldiers who served. The lovely white marble record of names is on the wall in the hall as visitors go upstairs.

The hall is often used today, for events, speakers and by bridge players. The Kimberley Community Association also organizes many events.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Flesherton Advance