Our collective is made up of Heritage Specialists – art conservators, appraisers, art handlers/installers, and historians. Company director, Alicia Coutts has personally hand pick this team from an international network to join this strong collective. We are members of The Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property, The Architectural Conservancy Ontario, The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
We seek to preserve artifacts so they may live on to be enjoyed for years to come while restoring, rejuvenating and refreshing the aesthetic beauty of the artwork.
We not only repair artwork after the damage has been done (considered restoration treatments), but believe in a preventative healthcare approach. In this respect, our aim is often focused towards maintaining the aesthetic and monetary value of investment, public and corporate art collections. Aspects of art conservation roles including performing condition assessments, diagnostic testing, and appraisal reports; building museum quality environments; cataloguing artworks in customized databases; packaging, transporting and storing works of art; and constructing long-term conservation plan of actions.
RBC Royal Bank of Canada Art Collection
The Superior Court of Justice
Art Gallery of Peterborough
Art Gallery of Hamilton
McMaster Museum of Art
The Government of Ontario Art Collection
Archives of Ontario
The Archdioceses of Toronto
The Archdioceses of London
Massey College Art Collection
Saint Joseph’s Hospital
Upper Canada College
Idea Exchange Art Gallery
FPDR Ltd. Ecclesiastical Designers
Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Stratford, ON
Saint Volodymyr Cathedral, Toronto, ON
Our Lady of Lourdes, Toronto, ON
Holy Martyrs of Japan, Bradford, ON
Prince of Peace, Scarborough, ON
Saint Agnes Kouying Tsao, Markham, ON
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Toronto, ON
Church of the Ascension, Toronto, ON
St. Boniface, Toronto, ON
Saint Mary’s, Toronto, ON
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Toronto, ON
Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Retreat Center, Pickering
Saint Vincent de Paul, Toronto, ON
Holy Family Church, Toronto, ON
GWL Realty Advisors
L. E. Glazer Architect Limited
Historia Building Restoration Inc.
Roof Tile Management Inc.
Cunningham Lindsey Canada Limited
Dundee Goodman Private Wealth
Ebcor Group Ltd
Madorin, Snyder LLP
Companies who have used us on their bids:
Heritage Restoration Inc.
Alicia H. Coutts: Director of Toronto Art Restoration Inc.
Alicia Coutts is an accomplished scholar with a passion for fine art, historical methodology and restoration. She is an art conservator for high-profile institutions such as The Government of Ontario Art Collection, The Ministry of the Attorney General, Royal Bank of Canada Art Collection, Archives of Ontario, The Superior Court of Justice and several museums and corporate building management companies. She has led her team to restore several churches, historical buildings and monuments throughout Ontario.
Early in her career, she gained valuable insight into the world of public art and museums as an assistant mural painter for Sol LeWitt at the Art Gallery of Ontario. A graduate of The Ontario College of Art and Design, she furthered her education at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design where she was awarded a Masters of Fine Arts with honours. She then went on to pursue her Post-graduate studies in Florence, Italy at SACI. In Italy, Alicia studied under restorers from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure – one of the most renowned laboratories in Europe. Her thesis specialized in developing new strategies to assist in the preservation of Cultural Heritage in war-torn countries. She was recruited directly from this program to a position in the studio of Florentine restorer Dr. Roberta Lapucci, who specializes in the methods and materials of Caravaggio. Later, Alicia worked with a team of archaeological restorers to preserve the Picenian Belmonte tombs at the Centro di Restauro della Soprintendenza Archeologica della Toscana.
Upon returning from Italy to her hometown of Toronto, Alicia launched Toronto Art Restoration Inc. She now manages some of the most highly experienced art conservators and handlers in the country. She and her company were featured in Toronto Life Magazine’s “Best Of” professionals article. Her conservation studies investigating the transformation of sacred buildings for utilitarian use in post WW2 Eastern Europe was published in her book The Lost Synagogues of Poland. She has also dedicated her time to doing workshops on Canada First Nations Reserves. She has hands-on experience restoring hundreds of works of art throughout her career and is a determined advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage in Canada.
Sjoukje van der Laan: Modern & Contemporary Art Conservator
Sjoukje van der Laan holds both a Master degree and a Professional Doctorate in Modern & Contemporary Art Conservation from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). In addition, Sjoukje holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from The University of Groningen (Netherlands). Her specialization demands of her a strong familiarity with a multitude of art forms: 2-D and 3-D objects of plastics, textiles, wood, metals, plaster, wax, common and uncommon paints and much more. Furthermore, she has experience in the conservation of outdoor public works of art, time-based media art, and kinetic art.
Sjoukje’s talent has taken her around the globe. Before coming to Canada, Sjoukje worked in the conservation studios of S.M.A.K. (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst Gent) in Belgium; The Kunstmuseum Luzern Museum in Switzerland; the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington; and for the art collection of the Dutch government. Now that she is settled in Toronto, beyond being part of the Toronto Art Restoration Inc. team, she is a contract conservator at The Art Gallery of Ontario.
Sjoukje has had the honour to conserve works by artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dalì, Keith Haring, Giacometti, Jean Arp, Simon Starling, Robert Irwin, Michael Snow, Anish Kapoor, Max Dean, Marlene Hilton Moore, Eldon Garnet, John Scott, Richard Serra, and many more.
Vanessa Lemieux-A S: Paintings Conservator
Painting conservator, Vanessa Lemieux-A S completed her Italian training in the Florentine Methods of art restoration and conservation at the Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro – Palazzo Spinelli. Before pursuing art conservation she completed her Canadian degrees in Visual Arts from Collège Rosemont, and Art History from Université du Québec à Montréal.
During her years in Italy, Vanessa specialized in the conservation of in-situ heritage arts (onsite murals, sculptures and architectural arts). Some of her most significant work includes the cleaning and structural repairs of numerous pieces at the Franciscan Sanctuary of La Verna. Most notably restored amongst the artworks was a pieces by the Florentine Barocco artist, Pier Dandini. Other significant sites of Vanessa’s restorative work include The Ospedale Santa Maria Nuova, The Fondazione Conservatori Riuniti di Siena, The monastery of Badia Fiesolana, The Villa del Poggio Imperiale, The Church of San Francesco di Assisi and The Cathedral of Fiesole (Arcidiocesi di Fiesole), where she restored a painting from the Florentine Barocco artist, Francesco Curradi.
Once returning to Canada, Vanessa set up her private practice conservation studio in Montreal. Her experience has allowed her to master restorative techniques for a variety of paintings on canvases, wood panels, and metal. Vanessa is now a great asset to Toronto Art Restoration Inc. as an in-studio conservator as well her lead role for on-site projects. Her efforts restoring the Stations of the Cross in Toronto Roncesvalles’ St-Vincent-de-Paul church is a great example of her skills.
Benjamin Oakley: Head Installation, Packaging and Transportation Specialist
Benjamin Oakley has been working as a professional art installer and museum technician in Toronto for over 15 years. He is a passionate visual artist who has developed plans and constructed major exhibitions at The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Gardiner Museum, The Textile Museum, The Power Plant as well as other public and private collections. Oakley has installed artwork for many renowned international artists such as Julian Schnabel, Joni Mitchell, Brian Jungen and Michael Snow. He has also held a major role in the successful installation of large-scale exhibitions such as David Bowie: Is, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Ai Weiwei: According to What and countless others. Oakley’s extensive art handling experience, knowledge, and personal communication skills has helped him gain the trust of many international artists. He has been appointed to fabricate, install and travel with their artwork as an additional safety procedure for traveling exhibitions. In addition to the fabrication and installation of artwork, Oakley builds high-end custom conservation crates for transportation and storage as well as museum quality vitrine.
Aside from his position as The Head Installation, Packaging and Transportation Specialist at Toronto Art Restoration Inc., Oakley holds a lead installation technician position at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Josh Dales: Frame and Gilding Conservator
Josh Dales is a highly trained frame conservator specialising in 16th-20th-century European picture frames. He gained his art conservation and frame restoration training in England, where he has worked in some of the most high-profile art institutions and collections in the country. After honing his gilding and restoration skills from a young age in his family business, Colin Dales Fine Art Restoration, he gained his degree in Art Conservation at the City & Guilds of London Art School. Becuase of his exceptional talent he has gone on to hold long term positions at such establishments as The Royal Collection Trust at Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and The Victoria and Albert Museum.
Joseph Farrugia: Historical Researcher and Appraiser
Joseph Farrugia completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree a NSCAD University, and has also attended the University of Havana and the University of Canterbury. Further more, he has been certified by the CPPAG (Canadian Personal Property Appraisal Group). As an scholar, teacher, artist and activist, Joseph has contribute numerous fine art historical research studies – traveling to over 50 countries around the world, fully immersing himself within the cultural heritage for extended periods of time. His papers have a unique capacity to build bridges between cultural divides, and create intimate, human connections, between the subject and the reader. These fully engaged studies are vital to his process when uncovering the history, authenticity and provenance of artworks. Toronto Art Restoration Inc. is fortunate for Joseph’s passionate research contributions on every project entering the studio, working closely with conservators uncovering mysteries that lay hidden.
Furthermore, Joseph works with Toronto Art Restoration Inc. clients to find, place value and establish cultural frameworks for art, to ultimately place them in the appropriate location for exhibition, publicity and sale. In recent years, Joseph has mainly concentrated his energy connecting the Canadian, American and the Chinese art markets. Most significant was his collection and presentation of several Western Old Masters paintings in the Art Beijing exhibition.