Description of Historic Place
The Superintendent’s House is set amongst a group of buildings located on St. Mary’s Island, which is bisected by the Sault Ste. Marie Canal. The two-and-a-half-storey stone building has a gable roof with a decorative bargeboard, regularly placed windows and doors with stone surrounds. An open porch protects the main entrance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Superintendent’s House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Superintendent’s House is a good example of a building associated with the construction and operation of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, commencing in 1889, and illustrates the theme of the development of the Canada’s transportation network during the later 19th century. The first ship passed through the locks at the Sault in September 1895, and most of the canal buildings were completed by 1896. The complex of buildings illustrates the crucial years when Sault Ste. Marie was transformed from a small community into a modern industrial centre.
Valued for its good aesthetics, the Superintendent’s House is a late example of a building inspired by the Gothic Revival style. The massing, design and good functional interior arrangement of the Superintendent’s House reflects the important social position of the Superintendent in Sault Ste. Marie society. Very good craftsmanship and materials is seen in the exterior masonry and in the decorative bargeboard.
The Superintendent’s House maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the historic character of its canal-side setting at the Sault Ste. Marie National Historic Site of Canada, and is a symbolic regional landmark.
Sources: Sally Coutts, Sault Ste. Marie Canal Buildings, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report 85-007; Canal Buildings: Superintendent’s Residence, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 85-007.
The character-defining elements of the Superintendent’s House should be respected.
Its good aesthetic, good functional design and very good quality craftsmanship and materials, for example:
- the two-and-a-half-storey massing, and the gable roof with chimneys;
- the exterior walls of random coursed sandstone;
- the placement of the windows and doors;
- the limestone quoins and window and door surrounds;
- the decorative bargeboard trim;
- the small wooden addition to the rear of the house;
- the interior configuration.
The manner in which the Superintendent’s House maintains an unchanged relationship to its site reinforces character of its canal-side setting within the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site of Canada and is a symbolic, regional landmark, as evidenced by:
- its location on a simple, open site overlooking the canal;
- its overall scale, design and materials, which harmonize with the other buildings in the lock complex and its canal side surroundings;
- its visibility, due to its prominent location adjacent to the canal that is used for recreational purposes, which makes it a regional landmark.