There were unique requirements for this project:
A) The stone was to come from the Niagara Escarpment
B) The design was a combination of modern and rustic. They wanted the rustic natural weathered face as it comes out of the quarry, but the tops, bottoms and bottle ends are sawn to tie together with the modern building on the other side of the patio. Even the exposed end wall was all sawn on the face for the modern aspect.
C) The top row of Weatheredge Limestone was to have a sawn bottom, but the top and front was to be natural. It was also to have added bed depth. To saw the bottom off of this row, since our 9′ diamond saw could only cut 3 3/4 feet, we had to turn the pieces on edge and stop the blade at 3 3/4 feet, flip the stone, line it up perfectly and then cut the rest of the way through the stone with loaders propping the piece for stability. One wrong move could have been an expensive mistake, and then we wonder why we get grey hair before we think we should.
D) The water discharge piece at the the top of the falls was 17 1/2 feet long, in one piece. The front face and top were both left showing the natural weathered face as they sit in the quarry, but the bottom and ends had to be sawn for the perfect fit.
E) It has totally different views in different seasons. In summertime the right wall has a large volume of water, free-falling the entire height and the left wall is totally dry. In wintertime, the falls side is a dry cliffside and the left side that is a dry cliffside in the summer changes to an icicle haven, with the icicles being fed with heated water discharges that run with timers.
Each layer has a weak seam running under it, which allows us to push loader forks, or an excavator bucket, into the seam and lift the slab out. The vertical seams have a space between them, and that is why we can get so many weathered faces. As is obvious, these weathered faces look like a natural outcrop as soon as a project is finished, making it a very desired natural product to use on water features. These waterfalls are available as:
A) Stone only and you build
B) Pre-built kits that are numbered on the back side and sent out with pictures and drawings for ease of installation
C) We will send a crew for install if you desire.
If a piece is too large to handle, we drill holes and place power wedges in the holes, to do a gentle controlled split. We can get pieces as big as 200 – 400 tons/piece and can downsize them as needed. We also have a large amount of 3 – 4 feet tall layers, which most quarries struggle to find and is ideal for shoreline work. The strength and density of this stone, weighing 170 – 175 lbs/cubic ft, makes it very sought after to use in and around water.
Loading at the quarry
2. Unloading at our Saw Shop
One truck being unloaded and two more waiting during a heavy unloading time.
This is one of the top weathered coping pieces being taken in two large loaders. Notice it is being carried in a vertical position, ready to be sawn with our 9′ diamond saw. The weathered top of the stone is being protected with plywood, so the loader doesn’t scratch the beautiful natural weathering.
3.Sawing the Pieces in our 9′ Saw
This is one of the top coping pieces getting the bottom cut off. Notice how we had to cut half way through, flip the pieces and re-cut from the other side. Colonial has now done a very major upgrade to greatly increase the size of landings, steps and over sized flagstone that we can make. If you asked Mr. Wagler how large of a piece we could cut for your project, he would probably grin and ask you if 14 ft x 25 ft would be big enough for you because we could do it. We would need over width permits to truck it.
4.Compiling the waterfall here at the yard.
We pre-built the falls in our yard so that we could have hundreds of tons of stone to choose from without overcrowding the job site. With numerous loads going to the site, we could send the stones #1 – #15 on the first load (which would be the pieces needed first).
We knew everything fit together well before it left our shop. It’s much easier to re-cut a problem piece when we are within 200 feet of the saw shop. The falls went together fast and well because of the planning and pre-build. This also saved a large amount of crane time on the install.
5.Building the Waterfall at the Royal Botanical Gardens
Installing each piece with a crane
The view is beautiful from the second floor of the building, especially with the large glass wall placed for breathtaking views.
This view is from the sunken patio, in front of the falls.
The person in charge of the gardens had a daughter getting married who chose to have her wedding at the falls. Obviously she was very happy with the falls, to have chose this spot for her special day.