Description of Historic Place
The Annex, as part of the Elevator 5 complex, dominates the western sector of the Old Port in Montreal, at the mouth of the Lachine Canal. A massive complex of silos, it is composed of tall concrete cylinders, interlinked so as to form a continuous wall. A glazed storey sits atop the large structure and is barely visible from the ground. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Annex at Elevator 5 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Annex, as part of the Elevator 5 complex, is a very good example of an industrial building that illustrates the theme of grain exportation in Canada. From 1880 onward, the grain trade assumed major importance. For several decades, wheat would be the main export commodity transiting through the Port of Montréal and it was one of the main driving forces of the Canadian economy. The Elevator 5 project was initiated by the Grand Trunk Railway Company in 1903 and, in 1922, it transferred ownership to the Montréal Harbour Commission, the predecessor of the Port of Montréal.
The Annex is valued for its good aesthetic qualities and very good functional design. Its circular reinforced concrete silos are the oldest structure of this type still extant in Montreal. Its utilitarian design is evidenced in features such as the openings which permit access to the mechanical parts located under the silos, the windows with opening mechanisms, which used to provide ventilation, and the interior equipment that was used to move the grain between the silos and Elevator B.
The Annex, as part of the Elevator 5 complex reinforces the industrial character of its port setting in Montréal and is a well-known landmark in the area.
Sources: Jacqueline Hallé, Elevator No. 5, Port of Montreal, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 95-087; Elevator No. 5, Montreal, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 95-087.
The character-defining elements of the Annex should be respected.
Its good aesthetic and very good functional design and good craftsmanship and materials, as for example:
- the massing, which consists of ten, tall concrete cylinders, inter-linked so as to form a continuous wall and a glazed storey which sits atop the complex of silos;
- the reinforced concrete construction;
- the volumetric configuration and the type of openings, including the door openings in the exterior concrete wall located in the lower section, which provide access to the mechanical parts located under the silos, and the windows which used to provide ventilation, and the windows located on the glazed storey, which have an unusual opening mechanism;
- the interior equipment that was used to move the grain between the silos and Elevator
B, as well as the elements that are part of the cyclone dust removal system.
The manner in which the Annex reinforces the industrial character of its port setting at the Old Port and is a well-known landmark in the Montréal landscape, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, design and materials, which enhance the industrial and port character in the western sector of the Old Port, at the mouth of the Lachine Canal;
- its visibility and familiarity as a landmark in the Montréal landscape due to its imposing size and prominent location at the port.