Welcome to the ESRC’s new home! Here are some of our favourite features of the Theal House

Blog Contributor: Samantha Morris

On February 28, 2018, the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) opened the doors to our new home; the Theal House.

We are excited to tell you more about this new (and old) space. Here’s a quick tour of some of our favourite features:


The Theal house has a history dating back to the 1800s. For many years the house was called Symphony House, this for the St. Catharines Symphony, which was a tenant in the 1970s. Before that it was variously known as the Turney House, Wright House or Field House. But it is now officially called the Theal House — appropriately so, for it was almost certainly built by one Samuel Theal, and the Theal family lived in the house for several decade. Read more about the history of the Theal House by the late Alun Hughes.

Johnston Map - Brock Lands

Detail of Colonel Johnston’s map of 1822 showing lots 18, 19, and 20.

Theal House Gibson 1964

The Theal house in 1964.

Exposed brick in Theal House.

On your next visit to the Theal House look for this bit of exposed brick from the original house.


Floors throughout the Theal House were acquired from Interface, a company internationally known for their focus and commitment to sustainability.

Theal House Carpet Certificate

Cool Carpet certification from Interface displayed in the upstairs office.


Sustainable furnishing can be found throughout the Theal House. From the furniture from Creighton House Antiques, a local company in Niagara, to the live edge wood desks made from certified sustainable timber and created by Brock University carpenters.

Antique furniture in Theal House.

Antique furniture from Creighton House Antiques.

Theal House Faculty Space

Upstairs offices featuring live edge wood furniture and a carpet made from recycled fish nets.


LED lighting has been installed throughout the Theal House. Dimmer and daylight harvesting switches reduce energy consumption.

LED Lighting in Theal

One of our many dimmer switches that will reduce energy consumption in the Theal House.


An integrated system within the Theal House now controls HVAC, lighting and monitors real time energy use.

Theal House - Upper Level

Our upstairs offices feature new energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems.

Theal House Monitoring System

Our entryway features a monitoring screen that showcases energy use in the Theal House and across campus.


We can’t forget to mention how much we love our new views. From the trees that surround Theal House to the view of the Tower, there’s always something to look at.

Theal House, 2018

The Theal House, 2018.

View of the Schmon Tower

View of the Tower out of the boardroom window.


Last, but certainly not least, no building on campus would be complete without dedicated and hardworking faculty, staff, and students.

Francine McCarthy, Ryan Plummer and Marilyne Jollineau

Master of Sustainability Graduate Program Directors, present (Dr. Francine McCarthy), past (Dr. Ryan Plummer), and future/past (Dr. Marilyne Jollineau).

Theal House Grand Opening

Faculty, students, and Brock Administration cutting the ribbon at our Open House on February 28, 2018.


Is there a feature of the Theal House that you find interesting? Please share your thoughts and photos with us at esrc@brocku.ca or on Twitter/Facebook @BrockUESRC.

Categories: Blog