vitreous 500 keele street  unit 201  
toronto on  M6N 3C9   
contemporary conservation sculptural miscellany

Vitreous glassworks


John is based in Toronto, Ontario. He is a graduate of the Architectural Technology Program (1995), Ryerson University Toronto and various Glass Studies at both the Ontario College of Art and Design OCAD Toronto and Sheridan College of Arts and Design Oakville.

For over a quarter century John has dedicated his working life to the respectful treatment of heritage fenestration. John’s primary focus is glass and the unique relationship it has with the greater building envelope. He has provided services as a Heritage Glazing Conservator/Consultant for over twenty five years and has demonstrated a responsible understanding of internationally recognized conservation standards. John began his career ‘apprenticing’ as a stained glass glazier, and has continually augmented this practical training with academic pursuits to achieve his uniquely qualified skill set. He has successfully provided and implemented historic glazing surveys & condition assessment reports for a broad range of clients including government agencies, architects, stakeholders, engineers and contractors requiring his specialized knowledge. John has performed a complete host of activities from inception and implementation to completion, review and maintenance.

Although his independent glazing studies have included the USA, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, John’s work projects to date have been largely limited to Southern Ontario. John is familiar with the full gamut of fenestration types including extensive variations of stone metal and wood, glass identification/supply/replication and all types of glass treatment techniques including, painted and stained glass, etched glass, cast glass. John has an excellent working knowledge of historic and modern sealants and caulking.

John is particularly interested in combining the guiding philosophies of respectful historic conservation with responsible environmental conservation, this is evident in his applications of iso-thermal glazing within historic building fabric. Typical projects benefit from his solid understanding of glass, traditional glazing techniques, building science and conservation principles.

John’s passion for glass combined with his practical and formal training culminate in a unique skill set that has positioned him as an authority on historic fenestration of all types. A recent project John Wilcox is particularly proud of is the condition survey of all three skylights of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, and the resulting conservation of the original east wing (Richard A. Waite 1893) wooden skylight, a project which John was integrally involved with from inception to completion. Other highlights include the Rotunda glazing conservation of the Renaissance ROM project (Alfred Chapman 1931) and the re-glazing scheme of the Sharon Temple (Children of Peace/Ebenezer Doane, Sharon On. 1835). Both of which he received awards for from Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP) and Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) respectively. A distant past project John is particularly proud of is sub-contracted on-site lead hand for the mid 1990’s glazing conservation of the south façade of Centre Block, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa and a decade later sub-contracted on-site lead hand for the removal of leaded glass within the Parliamentary Library, Ottawa.

John has published and is a frequent lecturer on glass and glazing. He has conducted lectures for ACO, Heritage Toronto, and Ontario Heritage Trust. John is a faculty member at The Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, teaching the glazing program since the school’s inception. He continues to supplement and update his qualifications through workshops, lectures and conferences at home and abroad.

•    Sioux Lookout Train Station, Sioux Lookout, Ontario
Engaged by ONTARIO HERITAGE TRUST, John travelled to Sioux Lookout, Ontario to provide a condition assessment  report for the wood windows of the historic train station. The report included detailed drawings of historic windows with options for refurbishment. (2011)

  • Pilkington Glass Canada, Toronto, Ontario

John was commissioned by ERA Architects to provide an assessment  including  proposals for the conservation of the rare collection of VITROLITE  glass within the lobby of the former Pilkington Glass Canada head office. The document included detailed drawings, description and an inventory of existing glass, with proposals for respectful conservation.( 2012)

  • St. Thomas Courthouse Complex, St. Thomas, Ontario

John is presently working with Fournier Gersovitz Moss Drolet et associés architectes in development of condition assessment & conservation procedure report for the stained and leaded glass of the heritage structure of this complex. The collection of fine glazing includes three painted and stained glass windows and a complex curved leaded glass skylight. John is also responsible for overseeing the work as it progresses. (2011)

•     St. George’s Church,  Sibbald Point. Ontario
A Provincial Historic Site containing one of the oldest stained glass windows in Canada (created & gifted by the Elizabeth Posthuma Simcoe, Wife of First Governor General John Graves Simcoe and their Daughters). For this site John created a detailed window survey and condition assessment report. Included in the report were results of historical research, detailed drawings and a program schedule for continued conservation. With Ian MacGillivray, MacGillivray Architects (2011 ongoing)

•    Private Summer Residence, Muskoka. Ontario ( Harry Weese Arch.)
Working with Catherine Naismith Architect,  John was responsible for developing a glazing condition assessment and proposing procedures for conservation of the expansive and inventive fenestration of this 5o year old modern house, including a glazed fireplace cantilevered through window.(2011)

•    Skylights and Lanterns. Ontario Legislative Assembly. Queen’s Park, Ontario   (Richard A Waite)

As consultant to the Ontario Legislative Assembly,  John was originally retained to provide a documentation and assessment, photographic reproduction and re-crating of the previously removed and crated painted and stained glass skylight from the entrance to the Library addition. Upon successful completion of this aspect, we continued to assess the two existing skylights and furthered a detailed condition assessment of the original wooden skylight. Working within a team of conservator, architect, engineer and project manager/client representative, john helped develop a respectful integrated structural enhancement system. Further services to the skylights included historic glass identification, cleaning/replication supply, safety glazing modification. Upon successful completion of this restoration john continued to assist with the glazing needs of the OLA by replicating and installing bent textured glass for conserved bronze lanterns of the north wing. (2008-2010)
•                St. Bride’s Church, Clarkson Ontario

Condition survey, analysis and remedial guidelines for leaded coloured glass restoration. Working as a consultant to Donald Scott of George Robb Architect.  John provided a detailed condition assessment survey and maintenance plan the Stained Glass Windows as part of a building envelope study. John assisted in overseeing the first phase of implementation of project. (2009)
•                Clock of the Charging Horsemen, (formerly Birks) Hamilton

For  Goldsmith Borgal & Co. Architects and The City of Hamilton John provided a condition assessment survey of all the glass elements of this unique Clock. The report elaborated on the  materials utilized, the techniques and surface treatments employed and identified sources of necessary replacement glass  The information provided formed the basis for the conservation program.(2008) CAHP AWARD WINNER
•                Eglinton St. George’s United Church, Toronto

With ERA Architects and Clifford Masonry, John assisted in the development and realization of a custom iso-thermal glazing system. This system combines state of the art stained glass conservation and elemental protection with advanced thermal and sonic enhancements. The restored large scale historic stained glass windows were integrated into a new custom cast roman stone assembly with elaborate tracery, utilizing an exterior of new laminated safety glazing. The first of the two transept windows was successfully completed in 2006, with the remaining transept completed in 2007 and the altar window completed in 2008. Award nominee Heritage Toronto 2009


Heritage Glazing
 Practitioner                           1986 - present

Ryerson University               1991 - 1995     Architectural Technology Graduate

Ontario College
of Art and Design                  1991                 Glass studies

Sheridan College
of Art and Design                  1989                 Glass studies     

Stained Glass Association
Of America                                1986-present    Various levels of involvement. Presently –Affiliate Member, 2011 Conference attendee

MIT Dept. of Architecture
Building Technology Program      2010                 Glass- Technology & Conservation conference attendee

MIT DEPT. of Architecture
Building Technology Program     2012                Wood Technology & Conservation conference attendee

Stained Glass Conservation ICOMOS Amsterdam 2013 conference attendee



  • Heritage Toronto Award Winner - St. Michael’s Cathedral West Front and Tower, glazing conservation
  • Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals, member. award winners; Royal Ontario Museum & Hamilton Clock of the Charging Horseman
  • The Association for Preservation Technology, member
  • Stained Glass Association of America, affiliate member 1989-
  • Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, member at large craftsmanship award winner Sharon Temple
  • Heritage Toronto member award nominee Eglinton St. George’s Church.



•                Willowbank School of Restoration Arts
Faculty - Heritage Glazing/Stained Glass Program
•                Architectural Conservancy of Ontario-Toronto, Stained Glass Lecture
•                Ontario Heritage Trust- Historic Glazing Fundamentals Lecture
•                Heritage Toronto- Decorative Glass Art in Toronto Architecture Lecture/Tour
•                Mensa Canada- Glass in Architecture
•                History Television Glass Consultant-Weird & Unusual Deaths
•                Rogers Television -Structures Amazing Glazing episode writer/co-host
•                Sheridan College of Art and Design- Stained Glass Instructor




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Vitreous Glassworks    500 keele street  Unit 201  Toronto ON  Canada  M6N 3C9