Description of Historic Place
The Ice House is located on a remote, northern landscape at the Aviation Weather Station. The building is a small, wood-framed structure with white asbestos siding and a gable roof. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Ice House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Ice House, as part of the Aviation Weather Station, is closely associated with the establishment of telecommunication facilities in Canada’s north, specifically the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Yukon Radio System. Established by the Department of National Defence, the System became the lifeline of the North and gained international prominence for its contribution to meteorological forecasting in North America. Its radio personnel also served as ground observers for the military before the establishment of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) project.
The Ice House is a good example of utilitarian architecture with a simple design and minimal detailing, illustrating a functional adaptation to the northern climate.
The Ice House, as an integral part of the grouping of structures that constitute the station, reinforces the character of its remote northern setting. Due to the sparsely populated, open Northern landscape, it is a visible landmark.
Sources: Katherine Spencer-Ross, Aviation Weather Station, Fort Reliance, Northwest Territories, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 95-042; Ice House, Aviation Weather Station, Fort Reliance, Northwest Territories, Heritage Character Statement, 95-042.
The following character-defining elements of the Ice House should be respected:
Its utilitarian architecture and simple design, for example:
- the simple massing composed of one storey with a gable roof covered with asphalt shingles;
- the wood-frame construction and white asbestos siding;
- the concrete block foundation;
- the single window and door centered on each elevation.
The manner in which the Ice House reinforces the character of its remote northern setting and is a well-known landmark in the local area, as evidenced by:
- its specialized, simple utilitarian design which harmonizes with the group of isolated buildings on a stark, open landscape;
- its high visibility and familiarity in the area given the scarcity of buildings in the vicinity.