A challenging project to restore the plaster and hand painted murals at a Windsor church has been recognized for excellence.

Restorations are complete at the landmark St. Joseph Church in River Canard, and the results are drawing accolades. The Goderich-based architectural firm who made the improvements, Allan Avis Architects, was awarded last night in Toronto with the James D. Strachan Award for Craftsmanship. The award was given out by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario for the restoration and stabilization of the ceiling at the historic church at the end of Malden Road.

The collaboration between the contractor, the Diocese, trades people and specialized consultants was focused on restoring the murals to look just as they did the day the artist completed them over a century ago. The church opened in 1915 and today counts over 1350 families among the congregation. It offers one of the few French language masses in the Windsor area.

The $2.1-million renovation cost was covered by a decade-long fundraising effort by the church’s parishioners.