L-128 opens new union hall in Toronto

IP Newton B. Jones (l.) joins Local 128 (Toronto, Ontario) BM-ST Jim Tinney in ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the lodge’s new hall and training facility.

Event coincides with lodge’s 60th anniversary

MEMBERS OF LOCAL 128 (Toronto, Ontario) celebrated two milestones May 19: the grand opening of their new union hall and the 60th anniversary of the local. The lodge received its charter on May 19, 1947.

L-128 BM-ST Jim Tinney said the grand opening celebration drew more than 500 people to the new union hall, located in Burlington, Ontario, near Toronto. IP Newton B. Jones gave the keynote speech at the event. Jones joined Tinney in the ribbon cutting ceremony, which was followed by a tour of the facility. “President Newton Jones was the very first person to officially set foot in our new building,” said Tinney. “We were also pleased to welcome President Emeritus C.W. Jones and [his wife] Ursula, IST Bill Creeden, and many other union officers and guests.”

A dinner and gala event commemorating Local 128’s 60th anniversary followed later in the day. An estimated 900 members and guests attended the affair, which was held at the Burlington convention center.

Construction of L-128’s new hall began last October. The tri-level building includes 5,500 square feet of offices, a 4,000-sq. ft. meeting/classroom area, and a 6,000-sq.-ft training center.

Designed by architect Julian Jacobs, the building features a unique “king pole” element in the meeting area. A central pole supports the entire 4,000-sq.-ft. roof. The ceiling is composed of steel rods and exposed steel beams. “It has the effect of being inside a large steel tank,” said Tinney. “Before the building was designed, we had the architect travel to different job sites with us to see what kind of work our members do. This is the first time the king pole design has ever been used.”

The building’s new training center includes an overhead crane and 24 oversized welding booths. “The center is sprinklered and has a state-of-the-art air movement system,” said Tinney. The center will enable Local 128 to bring in house all apprentice training previously done at a community college.

“When we planned this facility, we did so with the future in mind,” Tinney noted. “We’ve got space for future classrooms, and the building has dummy cable pulled through all the walls, so we’ll be ready for installation of the newest standard in communication systems.”

Tinney said constructing the new union hall allowed the local to consolidate its operations and sell two buildings it owned — one it had occupied since 1976, the other since the late 1980s.