The speaker for the evening was Fred Davidson who has just retired from Algonquin College, Perth Campus. Mr. Davidson managed the Heritage Carpentry and Masonry program at the College for the last 10 years. Before that he worked on heritage programs with Parks Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs
The program covers both theoretical and hands on aspects of heritage carpentry and masonry. Students are taught fundamentals of carpentry and masonry in the classroom, proper choice and use of tools in the shop, and the application of their knowledge by doing projects in and around the area.
The completed projects are sold to the general public or companies for the cost of materials. This allows the college to buy the necessary materials for the next semester.
Most students who graduate from the program pursue a work program that leads to a carpenter’s or mason’s license. The job market for these students is healthy as they have skills beyond those of most workers in these trades. These skills permit the graduates to tackle complex and difficult projects such as reconstructing stairs in older houses.
This program is unique in Canada and people from other parts of the country are included in the student body. The student body also includes members of all ages and both sexes. It can be considered one of the gems of the Eastern Ontario region.
Heritage Carpentry & Masonry Program
Presented by by Fred Davidson, Algonquin College, Perth
Rideau Branch, Ottawa Archives, North Gower
May 16, 2007