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Blockhouse

Rideau Lakes, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/08/16

Side elevation of the Blockhouse, showing the ground floor of stone masonry and the timber framed upper storey covered with clapboard, 1989.; Department of Public Works / Ministère des Travaux publics, 1989.
Façade
Corner view of the Blockhouse, showing the square, two-storey massing with pyramidal roof and chimney, 1989.; Department of Public Works / Ministère des Travaux publics, 1989.
Corner view
General view of the Blockhouse, showing its simple design and materials, 1989.; Department of Public Works / Ministère des Travaux publics, 1989.
General view

Other Name(s)

Blockhouse
Newboro Blockhouse
Blockhaus Newboro

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1832/01/01 to 1833/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Blockhouse at Newboro is situated on an open site that overlooks the Rideau Canal at Newboro Lockstation. It is a two-storey pyramidal-roofed structure, square in plan, with an overhanging second storey. The lower storey is constructed of thick, stone masonry. The upper storey is clad in clapboard. Defence features include loopholes and the second-floor entrance accessed by an exterior stairway. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Blockhouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Blockhouse is associated with the defence of British North America. The building was constructed during the period in which the Rideau Canal fulfilled a defence role for Upper and Lower Canada, and the blockhouse building type was an essential element in Colonel By's defence strategy for the canal, which included a major defensible building at each locksite. A small village grew up around the lockstation at Newboro, with the blockhouse remaining as one of its oldest buildings.

Architectural Value
Valued for its good aesthetics, which are evidenced in its functional, 19th-century defensive military appearance, the design followed the general pattern established for blockhouses. The Blockhouse is one of only four completed on the canal and is one of the few surviving examples in Canada with a stone masonry lower storey. Good functional design is seen in the interior layout and defensive features that include loopholes and an overhanging second floor, that were based on an original design by Colonel By. Good craftsmanship is evidenced in the masonry.

Environmental Value
The Blockhouse is compatible with the historic character of its lockstation setting and is a familiar local landmark.

Sources: James De Jonge, Fifteen buildings, Southern Area, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Reports 89-155, 89-156, 89-157, 89-158,89-159, and 89-160; Blockhouse, Newboro Lockstation, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 89-159.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Blockhouse at Newboro should be respected.

Its good aesthetics, functional design and quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the square, two-storey massing with pyramidal roof and chimney;
- the ground floor of stone masonry and the timber framed upper storey covered with clapboard;
- the defence-related elements such as the loopholes and the second floor overhang;
- the trap door access between floors;
- the open plan interior of the second floor, and the second floor entrance accessed by an exterior stairway, and the floor beams and the kingpost.

The manner in which the Blockhouse at Newboro is compatible with the historic military character of the lockstation setting and acts as a local landmark as evidenced by:
- its simple design and materials that harmonize with the historic Rideau Canal setting and surroundings;
- its size and profile at the edge of the village that make it a prominent feature of the lockstation.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1990/08/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Defence
Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer

Colonel John By

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

3896

Status

Published

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