top of page

Repairing & Rebuilding Stone Retaining Walls in Victoria, BC

Stone retaining walls built by Lennox Masonry in Victoria BC
Stone retaining wall built by Lennox Masonry in Victoria, BC.

Victoria, BC is home to a tremendous amount of stonework and brickwork. In fact, Victoria’s building codes require some form of masonry on a home, as well as stone or brick retaining walls when permitted. You can walk through nearly any community in Victoria and come across numerous retaining walls which are a testament to the abundance of stone and brickwork in this region of Vancouver Island. 

Artistic stone retaining wall built by Lennox Masonry in Victoria BC
Stone retaining wall built by Lennox Masonry in Victoria, BC.

Most of the old stone retaining walls that you find on properties throughout Victoria, BC are typically 40+ years old and suffer much the same fate: a lack of proper drainage, the absence of a footing, and the use of improper mortars. Here at Lennox Masonry, we usually repair upwards of 30 stone walls a year within the greater Victoria area. Roughly, 90% of the stone walls that we are asked to repair and rebuild weren’t built with proper drainage in place, concrete footers, or mortars that utilize a suitable combination of lime and Portland cement. 

A stone retaining wall with loose mortar falling out.


Concrete footers for a stone or brick wall have the same code requirements as the footings for a house: they must be below the frost line. Here in Victoria, BC building codes dictate that a footer for masonry structures such as stone or brick walls must be built beneath the established frostline and that it should extend at least 6” out on all sides of the wall or pillar to be built on top of it. A proper concrete footer entails the right mixture of concrete and some steel reenforcement, such as rebar. 


It’s crucial that ample drainage is installed behind the wall in various sections so that any and all water is diverted from the wall and the footer. Proper drainage entails not only the application of drain rock and perhaps a membrane against the back and/or the base of the footer, but also perforated pipes which collect and distribute water away from the wall. Ideally, you would want perforated pipes in three sections: the base, the mid-section, and the top of the wall. 

Here at Lennox Masonry, when building stone or brick retaining walls, we will place a membrane at the back of the wall, install drain pipes which divert the water away, and then apply drain rock prior to backfilling with soil and plants. 


Many of the stone retaining walls in Victoria, BC were built using nothing but Portland cement-based mortars without the addition of lime. Lime increases the working time of mortar and allows for a greater bond between masonry materials, as well as longevity.  It’s important to use the correct mortar mixture based on the type of retaining wall being repaired or rebuilt. There are different types of stones and bricks which require unique and specific mortar mixtures in order to create a long-standing masonry structure. 

To learn more about lime and lime-based mortars, read our blog post:Restoring & Preserving Historical Masonry Structures: The Case For Natural Hydraulic Lime Mortar

And to learn more about various types of mortars and their uses, read our blog post:Masonry & Mortar: A Guide to Different Types of Mortar and Their Uses

If you're a resident in the Greater Victoria area and are interested in having us assess your wall, please contact Lennox Masonry today!

Lennox Masonry of Victoria BC logo

Lennox Masonry of Victoria, BC has been proudly serving both Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands for over a decade. We are small group of skilled masons with a great deal of passion towards our trade and for improving the communities we live and work in. We extend our gratitude to the lək̓ʷəŋən people for allowing us to share and work on this corner of the garden with them. We are thankful for the residents and businesses of Victoria, BC for supporting us in our endeavors!

If you’re in need of a professional and reliable masonry company for your next project, please contact us today!

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
No tags yet.
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Tumblr Social Icon
  • Google+ Basic Square
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Houzz Social Icon
  • Yelp Social Icon
bottom of page