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Defensible Lockmaster's House

Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada / lieu historique national du Canada du Canal-Rideau, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1992/04/30

View of the front of the Defensible Lockmaster's House, showing the placement of the windows and doors on both floors, 1990.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, James De Jonge, 1990.
General view
View of the rear façade of the Defensible Lockmaster's House, showing the exterior walls, the thick ground-floor walls constructed of limestone masonry, 1930.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1930.
Historical view
Corner view of the Defensible Lockmaster's House, showing the frame second-floor clad in clapboard, 1989.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, Couture, 1989.
Corner view

Other Name(s)

Defensible Lockmaster's House
Nicholson Lockstation

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1838/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is located in a prominent position overlooking the Rideau Canal and the area around Nicholsons Lockstation, in the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada. It is a two-storey building with a truncated hipped roof containing a central dormer window on the main façade and symmetrically placed doors and windows. A set back, clapboarded summer kitchen extends laterally to the south. The first-storey exterior walls of stone contrast with the clapboard faced second-storey. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is a very good example of a building associated with the construction and operation of the Rideau Canal. The house illustrates the theme of military defence for Upper and Lower Canada in the second quarter of the 19th century and exemplifies the Rideau Canal’s change from having a military function to that of transportation. This building, among the earliest of its type constructed, represents the canal’s formative period, and that of the local farming community. The building continues its historic function as a residence for canal staff.

Architectural Value
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is valued for its good aesthetic design. Its appearance is characteristic of a late 19th-century and early 20th-century residence. The second-storey addition, summer kitchen and interior layout reflect increased emphasis on residential design, which resulted from a change in the function of the canal by the 20th century from defence to recreation and commerce and as such, combines both its original military form as well as added residential features. Very good functional design is evidenced in the interior layout. Very good functional design can be seen in the interior layout. Very good craftsmanship can be seen in the thick, ground floor masonry and the interior woodwork.

Environmental Value
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House reinforces the historic character of its park-like setting at Nicholsons Lockstation and is a familiar landmark to local residents and to visitors.

Sources: James De Jonge, Twenty Nine Buildings, Central Area, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report 91-072 to 91-081; Defensible Lockmaster’s House, Nicholsons Lockstation, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 91-080.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Defensible Lockmaster’s House should be respected.

Its good aesthetic, good functional design and very good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the two-storey massing;
- the truncated hipped roof, and the chimney;
- the exterior walls, the thick ground-floor walls constructed of limestone masonry, and the frame second-floor clad in clapboard;
- the placement of the windows and doors on both floors;
- the heavy timber joists and the stone base of the hearth;
- the clapboard clad, single-storey summer kitchen appended to the main structure;
- the interior configuration, the woodwork, including the balustraded staircase.

The manner in which the Defensible Lockmaster’s House reinforces the historic character of its park-like setting at Nicholsons Lockstation and is a familiar local landmark, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, design and materials, which harmonize with the surrounding green spaces at the lockstation;
- its visibility due to its prominent location adjacent to the canal, which makes it a local landmark.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1992/04/30

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1900/01/01 to 1920/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Residence
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Royal Engineers

Builder

n/a

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

5123

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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