Masonry – Heritage and Traditional

Algonquin College’s unique Masonry – Heritage & Traditional program teaches the theories behind proper masonry construction, based on a solid understanding of the Ontario Building Code, construction safety standards, measuring and testing methods, proper bonding methods, and construction estimation.

Click here for the CTV morning segment featuring the masonry program…

CTV – Dean Chris Hahn – Masonry Prof Daly Drevnio talking about GREAT programs in #ACPerth – visit Open House Jan 21

Posted by Algonquin College – Perth Campus on Monday, January 9, 2017

Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at
(Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Ontario College Diploma
45 Week(s)

Program Code: 0746X04FPT
Academic Year: 2016/2017

Our Program

This two-year Ontario College Diploma program offered in a format over 45 weeks provides an introduction to the many areas of the masonry industry, from new residential and commercial construction to the demanding field of heritage restoration.

The program begins in the fall, continues through the winter and spring and ends in late summer. The workload is challenging with an equal balance of theoretical lectures and hands-on practical instruction totalling 25 to 30 hours per week.

Students learn the theory behind proper masonry construction and gain a solid understanding of the Ontario Building Code, construction safety standards, measuring and testing methods, proper bonding methods, as well as an introduction to construction estimation. Practical projects in brick, block, manufactured units, traditional stonemasonry, and restoration techniques are practised in a shop environment and in field work projects.

Students gain insight into Canadian architectural history, drafting and blueprint reading, construction mathematics, and the concepts of structural support and building envelope theory. In addition, students learn restoration concepts, such as accepted conservation principles, inspecting and recording, deducing problems and determining repair schedules. Organized field trips to masonry job sites, conservation projects, quarries, and other key locations expose students to current industry practices and traditional methods. Shop projects include veneer and composite wall systems, arch design and construction, fireplace and chimney construction, rubble stone construction, setting out and cutting traditional stone moldings, contemporary stonemasonry and traditional dry stone walling. Sympathetic restoration repairs are practised, such as patching, pinning, Dutchman repairs, repointing and stone replacement.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s New Technology Store at educational rates.


This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Are inquisitive, well-organized and have an analytical nature.
  • Work effectively both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Enjoy both theoretical and hands-on learning environments.
  • Are interested in architecture and appreciate historical building sites.

Your Career

Graduates gain a wide range of problem-solving skills and practical skills that may qualify them to seek entry-level employment in all areas of masonry construction and restoration. The craft of masonry is traditionally a life-long learning process and graduates may enter an apprenticeship with a recognized journeyperson or licensed and experienced masonry company.

Graduates may seek entry-level employment in the following exciting fields: apprentice and journeyman bricklayer, stonemason, stonecutter, restoration mason, masonry foreman, masonry conservator, masonry specification, fireplace and heater mason, refractory mason and landscape mason.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Have knowledge of, and an appreciation for historical Canadian architecture, construction methods and preservation techniques.
  2. Function as mason/stoneworkers in the building industry particularly in the areas of restoration and renovation.
  3. Provide for the safety of self, co-workers and the general public in all work settings.
  4. Apply knowledge, skills and attitudes to execute work of consistently high quality in all aspects of their job.
  5. Communicate effectively with clients, project personnel, fellow masons/stonecutters and persons from associated trades.
  6. Take responsibility for maintaining learned skills and developing new skills throughout their career.
  7. Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.


Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
ARC9005 Canadian Architectural Conservation To Canadians, preserving our heritage resources is a visible sign of community pride and environmental responsibility. Protecting heritage buildings requires an understanding of their histories and the principles of conservation shared by the preservation community. Building styles and traditional building techniques as they have evolved across the Canadian landscape are explored. 45.0
CON9110 Construction Techniques A study of construction methods and materials for site work and foundations. Students perform basic surveying to establish/verify grades and locate building hubs using a transit-level. Students construct batter boards and formwork for footings. Students familiarize themselves with the Ontario Building Code as it applies to foundations, footings, framing and other components of construction.

Co-requisites: SAF9100
DRA9250 Drafting Drafting is an essential communication tool in the building industry. Students acquire competency in the basics of drafting for the trades. Topics of study include: freehand sketching; drafting instruments; materials and their use; lettering; isometric, oblique and orthographic drawings and shop drawings. An introduction to computer-assisted drafting reinforces students' skills in pictorial and orthographic drawings. 30.0
ENL9212 Communications I Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practise writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments. 45.0
MAS9007 Masonry Fundamentals I The tools and basic techniques used in masonry construction are introduced. Practical exercises include mixing mortar and laying masonry units. Trowel skills in bricklaying, block work, and reinforcement are applied to individual and group projects. Theoretical studies in estimation, coursing, bonding, and rendering are reinforced through practical applications requiring the use of hand tools, and masonry saws and mixers. The Ontario Building Code as it applies to best practices in residential and commercial construction is introduced.

Co-requisites: MAT9201 and SAF9100
MAT9201 Mathematics for the Trades I The fundamentals of trade calculations are the focus of this course. With the application of course content to masonry, concepts include: imperial measurement, fundamentals of perimeter, area and volume measurement, a review of basic algebra, principles of ratio and proportion and elements of basic trigonometry. Students are encouraged to develop the problem-solving skills necessary for success in the trades during lecture presentations, individualized instruction, assignments and scheduled unit reviews. 30.0
SAF9100 Construction Safety Emphasis is placed on preparing students to work safely in workshops and on construction sites. Students learn safe practices when operating equipment and identify appropriate personal protective equipment. Students locate and apply regulations from the Occupational Health and Safety Act involving ladders, scaffolds and all significant aspects of safety in the workplace. Successful students receive certification in Fall Arrest and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) in accordance with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA). 30.0
Level: 02 Hours
BSC9010 Conservation Methods Despite their longevity, older masonry buildings and monuments inevitably show symptoms of age and neglect. Students recognize structural and building envelope deficiencies through inspection reporting. Applying accepted conservation principles, students trace symptoms to origins and discuss possible remedies and which of these is the most appropriate.

Prerequisites: ARC9005 and DRA9250 and MAS9007 and SAF9100

Co-requisites: BSC9111
BSC9100 Housing, Energy and the Environment Students examine the impact of the construction/restoration industry on the environment. This includes a study of the principles and techniques of new house construction, energy-efficient renovation, appropriate energy conservation methods for historic buildings, the improvement of indoor air quality, and the selection of environmentally-responsible construction products and practices. 45.0
BSC9111 Structural Masonry Buildings are designed to withstand stresses from a variety of sources by transferring these loads to their foundations and soils below. The different loads that a building might experience are examined and the philosophies and methods employed to successfully share and transfer these loads are investigated. By looking at examples of new construction and classic architecture, the theories of structural masonry are analyzed. Using a variety of lectures and exercises, the limitations, and capabilities of masonry are illustrated and compared.

Prerequisites: MAS9007 and MAT9201

Co-requisites: BSC9010
DRA9260 Architectural Drafting and Blueprint Reading Students learn to read and draft architectural plans and reference residential building codes to develop the necessary skills required in the industry. Activities include retrieving information from plans and specifications, verifying material sizes and grades from tables in the building code and putting together material estimates for construction projects. Students draft a variety of architectural drawings using computer software and/or standard hand drafting techniques.

Prerequisites: DRA9250
ENL9202 Communications II Course content includes writing instructions and writing for publication, creating relevant job-search correspondence and career portfolios, writing various informal reports to suit a specified purpose and writing and presenting a formal research report on a program related topic.

Prerequisites: ENL9212
MAS9220 Masonry Fundamentals II Students are challenged with more complex masonry projects. Integrated wall systems and decorative features are constructed as individual and group projects. Key masonry features, such as openings, lintels, arches and sills are applied to structures, in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, which is extensively referenced. Arch design, formwork and construction, glass block installation and other structural masonry components are also discussed.

Prerequisites: DRA9250 and MAS9007 and MAT9201 and SAF9100

Co-requisites: MAS9222
MAS9222 Traditional Construction Methods Focus is placed on the science, philosophical theory and practical construction of two distinct areas of masonry construction. In unit one (Fireplace and Chimney Construction), the physics related to the efficient performance of fireplaces and masonry heaters are examined. Fireplace types are discussed, focusing on layout and function, as well as construction techniques, materials and hardware. Chimney construction and function, as well as flashings, are examined from both residential and industrial applications. The installation of refractory liners is explored from an industrial perspective. In unit two, students learn the philosophies and best building practices of traditional and contemporary stonemasonry construction. Students learn the geology and classification of building stone, traditional bonding rules, and the installation of natural and manufactured stone products.

Prerequisites: DRA9250 and MAS9007 and MAT9201 and SAF9100
MAT9222 Masonry Geometry With particular emphasis on practical application, students expand on the fundamentals of calculations and explore the relevance of construction geometry as it pertains to the specialties of masonry. Geometric layouts for triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, circles and ellipses comprise much of the content for this hands-on course. Projects include setting out and calculating geometry specific to masonry arches, moldings and other applications. Students are encouraged in their learning through lectures, and group and individual assignments.

Prerequisites: MAT9201
Level: 03 Hours
BSC9110 Mortar Science Through a variety of current investigative techniques, including basic mortar analysis and standard testing techniques, Students study the component parts of contemporary and traditional mortars and their respective physical, chemical and functional characteristics. The examination of such binder components as the various cements and limes and their hydraulic properties, and the role of aggregates and water, is the key to understanding and, replicating traditional mortars while maximizing durability and insuring compatibility with the masonry units. Activities include identifying and comparing mixes and aggregates, burning limestone and slaking quicklime, and philosophical debate of mortars and their applications.

Prerequisites: BSC9010 and MAS9220
BSC9330 Conservation Planning Students investigate the fundamentals for the preparation and subsequent execution of the conservation plan, a living document that provides the backbone of any conservation project. The preparation of the plan is studied, with particular attention to the development of the work plan, to be carried out within the parameters of standard conservation principles. The full learning experience relies considerably on individual student initiative as significant content is delivered and developed outside the classroom.

Prerequisites: BSC9010 and BSC9111 and DRA9260

Co-requisites: BSC9110
LFS9201 Fieldwork Students apply acquired skills towards an actual Heritage Masonry project. Students keep a daily logbook and practise onsite restoration and construction techniques which were carefully planned and estimated in preceding courses.

Prerequisites: BSC9110 and BSC9330 and MAS9015 and MAS9330
MAS9015 Stonemasonry Techniques This is an advanced stone cutting and setting practices. Techniques in rubble wall construction are applied, focusing on traditional bonds. Also, setting stonework, including ashlar, rubble stone, architectural stone and carved elements, are practiced. In addition, raised and traditional mortar joint finishes are applied using a variety of techniques. Traditional drystone walling and flagstone are also taught. Other topics include hoisting techniques, stone sawing, fastening methods and stone panels.

Prerequisites: MAS9220 and MAS9222

Co-requisites: BSC9330
MAS9330 Stonecutting and Restoration Techniques Older masonry buildings are constructed of a variety of brick, terracotta, stone and cast components that require specialized reproduction and repair techniques. The philosophy and practical application of accepted masonry restoration techniques, such as repointing and grouting, unit replacement, patching, pinning, Dutchman repairs and cleaning are examined. In addition, the precise craft of stonecutting is practised, from understanding the geometry of traditional shapes, to setting out templates and cutting out moldings from stone blocks, allowing students to reproduce stone details. Also, students develop chisel skills to re-create typical ashlar dressings that highlight our most cherished buildings.

Prerequisites: MAS9222 and MAT9222
Choose one from equivalencies: Hours
GED0746 General Education Elective Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.

Equivalencies: DSN2001 or ENV0002 or FAM1218 or FIN2300 or GED5200 or GED5300 or GEN1001 or GEN1957 or GEN2000 or GEN2003 or GEN2007 or GEN2009 or HIS0001 or HIS2000 or HOS2228 or LIB1982 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or PSI1702 or RAD2001 or SOC2003 or GED6022 or GED5005 or GED5002 or GED5006 or GED5004 or GED1896 or GED5009 or PSI0003

Fees & Expenses   

2016/2017 Academic Year

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $7,604.00. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $21,954.04. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit

Books and supplies cost approximately $1,150 and are required throughout the program. Books are available for purchase at the campus bookstore. In addition, students are required to provide their own personal protective equipment and some masonry tools at a cost of approximately $1,850. A comprehensive list of the recommended tools is provided to students in August and is available online at

Students are required to provide or arrange transportation to and from the fieldwork component of the program. Fieldwork occurs in the final two weeks of the program (early to mid-August). Students should expect a distance of up to 60 km one way from the campus to the worksite.

Admission Requirements   

2017/2018 Academic Year

College Eligibility

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or Mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
  • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
  • General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $50 (subject to change) will be charged.

Program Eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics, Grade 12 (MAP4C or equivalent).
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:
    • IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band. OR
    • TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 80, with the minimum of 20 in each
      component: Reading 20; Listening: 20 Speaking: 20, Writing: 20

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available spaces, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English and mathematics.

Application Information


Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3

Students currently enrolled in an Ontario secondary school should notify their Guidance Office prior to their online application at

Applications for Fall Term and Winter Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632

Additional Information

Part-time students are considered based on availability and previous experience in the masonry trade and/or satisfactory completion of prerequisite courses. This program complements provincial apprenticeship programs - it is not an alternative approach to achieving journeyperson status. For example, in Ontario, an apprentice must complete 5,600 hours working alongside a qualified mason and prove competency in all areas of masonry and complete a schooling component. This program provides an introduction to the tools and best practices in these areas, providing a snapshot of the industry as a whole. This allows an individual entering the trade to sample these specialties and gain a wide range of skills and knowledge.

For more information, please contact Darrin MacDonald, Program Coordinator, at 613-267-2859 ext. 5635 or

Awards & Bursaries

Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time