Description of Historic Place
The Cereal Crops Building, also known as Building 75, is located at the Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site of Canada in Ottawa. The brick and stone structure consists of a two-storey, pitched roof office building with a gambrel-roofed laboratory section and modest greenhouses at the rear. The building’s main façade features stone banding and a front porch with decorative turned posts. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Cereal Crops Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Cereal Crops Building is one of the best examples of a building associated with the Central Experimental Farm’s (CEF) contributions to Canadian agricultural science. Cereal research, an essential component of the experimental farms’ programs, has been conducted in the Cereal Crops Building, since 1889. CEF staff analyzed, sorted, tested, packaged and distributed seeds to Canadian farmers and to the growing experimental farm network, in what was then known as the Seed Testing and Distribution Building. The staff also developed numerous varieties of wheat, oats and barley in the building throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the most notable being Marquis wheat. The building is also associated with the development of a distinctive cultural landscape at the CEF.
The Cereal Crops Building is valued for its very good aesthetic design and is a good example of an early agricultural research building. Its good functional design combines an office section for administration, laboratories and workrooms for experimentation, and greenhouses for testing and proving seed viability. In its construction and detailing, the Cereal Crops Building demonstrates a competent handling of brick and stone that is consistent with the high quality of work managed by the Department of Public Works in the late 19th century and in the 1920s.
The Cereal Crops Building is one of few, extant, pre-1890 structures located within the original core area of the CEF. The building reinforces the character of its experimental farm setting and is a familiar building within the immediate area.
Sources: Central Experimental Farm, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 97-035; Cereal Crops Building, Building Number 75, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 97-035.
The following character-defining elements of the Cereal Crops Building should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic design, good functional design and very good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the building’s massing which consists of a pitched roof building with a gambrel-roofed laboratory section and greenhouses of modest scale and simple construction;
- the brick walls, stone foundation and decorative stone detailing of the office and laboratory section;
- the composition and detailing of the front porch, in particular, the turned posts;
- the extant system of steam pipes and control mechanisms, which were responsible for maintaining controlled experimental conditions in the greenhouses.
The manner in which the Cereal Crops Building reinforces the agricultural character of its experimental farm setting and is a neighbourhood landmark, as evidenced by:
- its overall design, brick and stone construction and details which are consistent with all major CEF buildings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
- its relationship to the adjacent structures which were directly associated with its work, including the Cereal Barn (Building 76) and insectaries (Buildings 75b,c and d);
- its importance as part of a group of administration and research buildings located in the original core area of the farm, which makes it a familiar building to visitors and employees.