New light cast on historic downtown Kitchener stack

Kitchener's heritage committee unanimously approved a plan to install eight lights on a century-old smokestack located on the former site of the Lang Tannery in downtown Kitchener.

'It's all about celebrating our heritage'

The site adjacent to the structure is currently under construction as part of an office development. (CBC)

Kitchener's heritage committee wants to shed some light on a symbol of the city's industrial past.

On Tuesday, it unanimously approved a plan to install eight lights on a century-old smokestack located on the southwest corner of Joseph Street and Linden Avenue in downtown Kitchener.

The nearly 55-metre stack was originally constructed in 1917, as part of the former Lang Tannery. The location of the stack, adjacent to the redeveloped Tannery Building at Charles and Victoria streets, is often called "Site B." 

Last one 

The stack received heritage designation in June 2015.

"It really is the last remaining free-standing smokestack in the downtown core, in the area that we call the warehouse district," said Leon Bensason, Kitchener's co-ordinator of cultural heritage. "It's become a bit of an iconic emblem or symbol of our industrial past." 

The eight LED lights will be installed around the square lower section of the stack, and will mostly cast a green light on the structure, with the capacity for blue, white or red light as well. 

"It's all about celebrating our heritage, and I think this goes a long way to doing that," said Bensason. 

The estimated cost for the lighting is approximately $136,000, to be paid by property owner Allied Properties REIT.

The company plans to have the lights installed before winter. 

The stack was originally constructed in 1917 as part of the old Lang Tannery. (Max Leighton/CBC)


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