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Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex National Historic Site of Canada

Norgate Road, Riding Mountain National Park of Canada, Manitoba, R0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/11/06

General view of the Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex's East Gate Entrance Building, showing its design as a truss bridge stretching across the road, 1973; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, P. McCloskey, 1973
General view
General view of the Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex showing the Gatekeeper’s Cottage, 2001.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2001.
General view
Historic Image of the East Gate of the Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex, 1934.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, W. Oliver, 1934
Historic image

Other Name(s)

Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex National Historic Site of Canada
Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex
Centre d'Inscription de l'Entrée Est du Parc du Mont-Riding
East Gate Entrance Complex
Les bâtiments de l'entrée est

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1933/01/01 to 1936/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/11/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex National Historic Site of Canada comprises three log buildings of exceptional rustic design, the Whirlpool Warden’s Residence, the East Gate Entrance Building, and the Gatekeeper’s Cottage, in addition to a remnant of Norgate Road that passes through the complex. Their design and materials establish their identity as the eastern entrance to Riding Mountain National Park of Canada. Nearby are several more recent wood-frame service buildings.

Heritage Value

The Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1992 because:
- it is a nationally significant example of the rustic design tradition of the 1930s in Canada’s National Parks,
- in accordance with this tradition, the complex was constructed of indigenous materials by skilled local craftsmen hired through the Federal government’s Depression Relief program,
- the East Gate Complex is associated with tourism development and outdoor recreation, and gives a distinctive sense of identity to Riding Mountain National Park of Canada.

The heritage value of the site lies in the complex’s illustration of exceptional rustic design in a National Park of Canada. The Riding Mountain Park East Gate Registration Complex was constructed in 1933-36 by the National Parks Service to provide an eastern entrance to Riding Mountain National Park of Canada for automobiles travelling on Norgate Road (Highway 19). Both residences follow standard plans prepared by the Architectural Division of the National Parks Branch.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, October 1992 ; Commemorative Integrity Statement, November 1999.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that contribute to the heritage character of the site include:
- the location, at the entrance to Riding Mountain National Park of Canada;
- the treed setting with the cultivated landscape around the Gate;
- viewplanes from within the complex to service buildings, to the Norgate Road approach, and between the park gateway and the warden’s residence;
- the Norgate Road in its location within the complex, its original width and surface level;
- the architectural components of the complex, comprising the Whirlpool Warden’s Residence and Gatekeeper’s Cottage and the East Gate Entrance Building in their location, spatial relationships to each other and to the road, rustic local construction materials and simple construction technologies;
- the East Gate Entrance Building in its siting, straddling the approach road to the park, its design as a truss bridge stretching across the road between parallel standards in the form of cubic kiosks topped by open-trussed lanterns with shingled caps, and its log and stone construction materials;
- the Whirlpool Warden’s Residence in its massing as a one-and-a-half storey rectangular structure with gable roof, central porch and one-storey rear addition, its symmetrically organized three bay entry facade, its multiple casement windows, its use of contrasting surfaces such as half timbered gable ends, exposed peeled log rafter ends, and local rustic materials including fieldstone cladding on foundation, log walls, wood shingle roof, and its original interior layout;
- the Gatekeeper’s Cottage in its massing as a one-and-a-half storey rectangle with a central gable roof and an asymmetrical gabled entry porch, its multiple casement windows, its use of contrasting surfaces such as stucco and half timbering eave finish, exposed rafter ends, its use of local materials including random coursed field stone sheathed foundation, log walls, its craftsmanship such as saddle notching of log walls, and its intact ground floor plan.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1992/11/06

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1933/01/01 to 1936/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Tourist Facility

Historic

Architect / Designer

National Parks Branch, Architectural Division

Builder

Depression Relief Program

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

129

Status

Published

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