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Mackenzie King Estate Tea Room Fit-up

Refit project at a heritage facility, Mackenzie King Estate, in Gatineau Park housing a museum and tea room.


Client: National Capital Commission

Our client’s challenge

The Mackenzie King Estate is a heritage facility housing historical artifacts and serving as a tourist destination. The facility needed major upgrades in order to ensure the continued integrity of the facility: the noncompliant dry sprinkler system was to be converted to a glycol system; the pressure water tanks (located underground in a confined space) needed to be removed; the water supply needed to be replaced by a cistern; and the fire pump needed to be housed within the confined underground space.

Adding to the challenge were stipulations that no pipes were to be visible above ground (eliminating the use of a diesel pump) and the power supplied to the building would be limited to less than what was required for an electric fire pump.

Our approach

To respond of the client’s needs and requirements, WSP modified and converted the dry system to properly protect the facility. The water requirements were hydraulically calculated by WSP to be of a volume capable of being stored in the underground confined space with enough room to construct an area to house all required equipment such as the fire pump and controller, water heater and chlorinator. To resolve the power requirements of the pump, WSP installed a diesel generator in a wooded area, hidden from public view, approximately 30 metres from the underground space to power the fire pump. A series of pressure switches were used to send a signal to start the generator at a certain system pressure which provided power to the fire pump.  A second pressure switch at a lower pressure then sent a signal to start the fire pump.


WSP’s design met all of the client needs in a manner that protected the heritage value of the facility without having any fire protection equipment visible to the visiting public.

In addition to the mechanical fire protection work, WSP also replaced the fire alarm system in the facility.