Ottawa's MyMason.ca Tools, Info, Links:

      This page has been constructed for clients, sub-contractors,
      and friends, I hope it helps you.


      Chimney Fire Danger: Chimney Sweeps remove Creosote build-up
          Better Business Bureau: Chimney Sweeps listing

      Our Homeowner Masonry Inspection Checklist

      About Pointing, by MyMason.ca

      Colour!   Masonry Dyes, by MyMason.ca

      Common Types of Cement, by MyMason.ca

      Building Drystack Stone Walls, by MyMason.ca

      The Medieval Stonemason, BBC article


      Selected Materials Science News:

      Feb. 2012 : Sea urchin spine structure idea for concrete

      Concrete and nanotechnology research at NRC-IRC

      Reducing the CO2 emissions resulting from cement manufacturing

      Self-healing concrete being studied, Oct. 2012

      Masonry research at MIT

      Macedonians created cement 300 yrs before the Romans

      Award-winning Concrete Canvas Shelters, a building in a bag


      Weather Links:


      Ottawa weather: Environment Canada

      Hourly Ottawa Forecasts - AccuWeather

      Weather Radar - Ontario

      Satellite, IR - East Canada - Environment Cda

      7 day forecast - Wind & Weather



      Ottawa's Geology:

      Ottawa Earthquake activity - 3rd highest in Canada

      Jun 24, 2010 ... A 5.0 magnitude quake has rocked Ottawa

      NRC: Trees and Foundations


    Concrete Links:


      10 Tips for Foundation Drainage

      Cement & Concrete Colour Pigments  

      Maintaining Concrete

      Substance Effects on Concrete, Guide to Protection, Treatments

      Types of Cement and What They Do

      Concrete Admixtures: Water reducers

      Concrete Admixtures: Air entrainment

      The Analysis of Mortar: The Past 20 Years

      The Making of Concrete: Holcim production

      Dolomitic Lime in Historical Buildings: History, Science

      Various articles on Concrete

      Concrete Volume Calculator

      Concrete Weight & Volume Calculator

      Concrete is heavy: About 120-150 lbs/cubic foot.
      With 27 cubic feet in a yard, a c.y. usually weighs about 3300 lbs.

      Volume Conversion

      Sonotube Volume Calculator

      Concrete Countertops Photo Gallery

      Poured gypsum thin-slabs, for radient heating

      Building with a more durable, greener concrete  

      Best Practice Guide: Full Height Basement Insulation

      Stained Concrete - The Art of Acid-Etch Staining

      Acid-stained concrete - Google Search Results




Fibre Strand is basically plastic, and used in concrete can replace wire mesh and rebar. They go great together, inexpensively.


Acid-stained concrete, for the pool deck, patio, walkway, floor. Can be a DIY project, if the application is simple.


This oft-used steel form for a concrete stairway
is at Kustom Precast, in DunRobin.



  Brick & Stone Products & Techniques:

      Canadian Standard Brick Production Sizes

      Hanson Brick's Brick Comparison and Calculator

      Belden Brick's Shapes

      Bonds and Patterns in Brickwork

      Cold Weather Masonry

      Flashing for Masonry

      SIKA's Sealant for Caulking Masonry to Metal

      Belden's Brick Production Process - video link

      Efflorescence - what it is, how to address it.  

      Repointing: Old Buildings

      How to Lay a Brick Paver Patio

      How to Build a Stone Fire Pit

Three sizes of brick are most common in the Ottawa region: Ontario, CSR, and, less so, the Quebec size.

Shown is the Ontario size.
The Quebec size:   3 3/4" x 2 1/4" x 8"
The CSR size:   3 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 9 1/16

Bricks may be made from clay, shale, soft slate, calcium silicate, concrete, or shaped from quarried stone.

Clay is the most common material, with modern clay bricks formed in one of three processes - soft mud, dry press, or extruded.

Brick Colour:
Clay bricks typically take on a reddish hue when baking. The red hue darkens when they are heated over a longer period of time. Red bricks can have warmer or darker tones mixed in with the overall red coloring.

Different minerals and chemicals found in the raw materials for the bricks can create other colors besides red, however. Pink bricks are created from clay high in iron. When the clay is fired, the reaction from the heat with the iron gives the hardened clay a pink tint that is too light to be called red. Bricks with a light, whitish or yellow tint occur when the clay has a high lime content instead of being high in iron.


      Ottawa Suppliers:

      City of Ottawa Hazardous Waste Depot schedule/locations  

      Merkley Supply
      Brick, stone, cultured stone, blocks, interlock,
      pre-cast objects, cements, wood flooring, etc.
      Corner of Bayview & Scott St., where Albert St. becomes Scott St..

      The Wood Source, Mitch Owens Rd
      The Ottawa Valley’s finest specialty lumber store and mill shop.

      Ottawa Brick & Stone
      Brick, stone, cultured stone, cements, etc.
      Corner of Innes & Startop Road.

      Canlok Stone - interlocking natural stone.
      950 Moodie Drive.

      Permacon interlocking products

              Video - installing interlocking stone

              Permacon's Technical Guide to installing their products  

      Central Precast - 25 Bongard Ave.

      Boucher Precast Concrete - 5598 Power Rd

      Swing N Scaff Inc., 1485 St. Laurent Blvd  

      Scaffold-Fast - 1500 Michael Street  

      Ottawa Valley Metal - 5460 Canotek Rd  

      Breezehill Heating (Metal work) - 75D Breezehill North  

      Maggie Jordan Design - Outdoor Design & Landscaping  

      Busy Bee Machine Tools, 1400 Ages Dr  

      Preston Hardware, Preston St.

      Richelieu Hardware, 940 Belfast Road, Specialty Home Products

      Best of Best - Granite, Marble, Quartz - 18-5340 Canotek Rd..

      Euro Ceramics - a good tile showroom - 925 Belfast Road.

      Tomlinson's LEED Recycling Facility, best in Eastern Ontario  

      Maurice Yelle, aggregates, 1571 Startop Rd.  

      City-owned Landfills  



Thermal Expansion Rates

Concrete frames and concrete masonry units shrink with time. Clay bricks, on the other hand, expand with time.

The different materials in your house are continually expanding and contracting, at different rates. A shrub's shadow can affect heat absorbtion. Here are the specific heat capacities of various building materials.

Substance cp
Asphalt 0.920
Brick 0.840
Concrete 0.880
Glass, silica 0.840
Glass, crown 0.670
Glass, flint 0.503
Glass, pyrex 0.753
Granite 0.790
Gypsum 1.090
Marble, mica 0.880
Sand 0.835
Soil 0.800
Wood (spruce pine) 1.7 (1.2 to 2.3)


      Cement Cracking:
Client education information by the Concrete Foundation Association

Controlling Shrinkage Cracks in Concrete Masonry Walls, Masonry Control Joints


      Local Residential Structural Civil Engineers:

      J. Q. Nguyen + Associates Design Group Inc.

      Mcintosh Perry

      Star Engineering and Construction Ltd.




      Masonry Training, Organisations:

      Masonry Training Program
      Heritage and Traditional (Algonquin @ Perth Campus)

      Canada Masonry Centre

      The (USA) Masonry Society

      The Brick Industry Association (US)

      National Concrete Masonry Association (US)

      The Masonry Society (international interest group)

      Mason Contractors.org

      Dry Stone Walling Association of Canada




      The Ontario Building Code, Ottawa City Permits:

      The Ontario Building Code

      City of Ottawa's central page for Building Permits.

      The following are typical projects that require a City of Ottawa Building Permit:

      * A deck that is adjacent to or attached to the house and its walking surface is more than 600 mm (24 in.) above the adjacent grade
      * An elevated deck providing principal access to a building
      * A deck that is independent from the house and has a surface greater than 10 square metres and more than 24 in. above grade
      * Attached or detached garages and sheds
      * Installation of solid fuel appliances (i.e. woodstoves and fireplaces)
      * Sunrooms, solariums and porches
      * Alterations to a plumbing system (except replacing fixtures)
      * Structural foundation repairs
      * Demolition
      * Interior and exterior structural alterations, such as,
            o adding or removing walls, i.e., creating different room sizes and/or uses
            o one and two storey additions
            o new windows where there were none before
            o enlarging or relocating a window or door
            o finishing a basement
      * Installation of cleanouts and backwater valves
      * Conversion from septic to sanitary sewer
      * Equipment storage buildings
      * Cover all type structures (fabric / hoop)

      A civil engineer generally develops the plans for you to provide to the City. Your contractor follows the plans.


City of Ottawa - on Outdoor Fireplaces



      Safety Act, Guideline Info, Certification:

      Occupational Health and Safety Act


      The Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA)

            IHSA's WHMIS Lessons

            IHSA's Eye Protection Guidelines

            IHSA's Ladder Safety Guideliness

            IHSA's Fall Protection Guidelines

            IHSA's Scaffold Guidelines

            IHSA's Emergency Procedures


      YOW Canada offers OH&S online coursess.




      Relevant Material Safety Data Sheets:

      MSDS: Holcim: Portland Cement

      MSDS: Lafarge: Types N, S and M Cement

      MSDS sheet: Concrete

      MSDS sheets: Parging, Other Cement Mixes

      MSDS sheet: Top N Bond

      MSDS sheet: King's Sakrete Cement Mixes

      MSDS sheet: King's Rapid Post

      MSDS sheet: Cement dye, powdered pigment

      MSDS: Lafarge: Various Cements

      MSDS sheet: Muriatic Acid

      MSDS sheet: Waterproofing Mastic

      MSDS sheet: Construction Sealant

      MSDS sheets - a portal to many sites

      MSDS sheet: Calcium Silicate Masonry Unit

Splitting Tools
A Wedge between two Feathers in a bored hole.


Splitting Marble
A scored line, holes, feathers and wedges.


Slate, has two lines of breakability: cleavage and grain.

Limestone, relatively easy to cut, and long lasting.