Local man brings history to life at churches in Alliston and across Ontario
It's a labour of love for Brian Metcalfe who carefully and precisely restores decades-old windows at churches across the province.
"Every time I take a window apart, I can really appreciate the work that went into it."
Metcalfe started the delicate process of restoring stained glass windows 40 years ago.
"When removing, I often have to duct tape the windows together, because the lead has become brittle over the years," he explains.
Currently, Metcalfe is restoring 10 large windows at the St. John's United Church in Alliston, a project that costs $80,000. The windows hadn't been repaired since being installed 60 years ago.
Metcalfe says refurbishing one window can take a minimum of four weeks to complete.
His expertise also includes installing thermal panels to the exterior of the windows, a rare skill that has made his work in demand.
"It stops condensation - and heat loss is more or less eliminated."
Metcalfe has worked on windows at the Collier Street United Church and St. Andrews in Barrie. His talents aren't limited to churches; other jobs include restaurants like The Keg and several Nando's.
In recent years, restoring stained glass windows at churches has become a full-time job for Metcalfe, who currently has about a dozen projects in the works.