Zaraté Lavigne was entrusted with the design and work supervision mandate for the repair of the bell tower of the Sacré-Coeur-de-Jésus church. This project involved emergency work at height on old masonry. Following Cosigma Structural Engineers’ diagnosis of an unsafe condition, we designed and supervised the selective demolition work of the west tower steeple down to the floor of the bells and the construction of a permanent replacement roof and appearance harmonized with the architecture of the building. The main challenge encountered was to deal with the major deficiency of the rubble stone support walls, adorned with limestone, and to add a permanent roof without distorting this religious work of great value. Following the work, the parish had the five bells relocated inside the church to serve as a musical instrument. They are now visible to the general public.
Located on Ontario Street in Montreal, the Sacré-Coeur-de-Jésus church underwent many transformations from 1875 until taking its final form in December 1887. The architect Joseph Venne gave it a Gothic style with a steeple culminates nearly 80 meters (262 feet) high. In 1921, a fire ravaged the interior and the spire of the bell tower will never be rebuilt. The interior was rebuilt in 1922-1923 by contractor Ulric Boileau and concrete was then used for the first time for the walls and the vault of the main nave. In autumn 2020, the upper part of the bell tower had to be demolished, as it was in danger of collapsing.