Description of Historic Place
The Shelter, located on Beaurivage Island, lies within in the St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada. Constructed in the rustic style, this rectangular, single-storey wooden picnic shelter is open-sided on three sides while a wall pierced by two windows encloses the rear of the structure. Wooden posts at the perimeter support a hipped roof, while the building has an open interior space. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Beaurivage Island Shelter is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Beaurivage Island Shelter is a very good example of a building associated with the development of Canada’s national park system and early Canadian tourism. It is also associated with the emerging ideals of protecting and enhancing designated wilderness areas for the pleasure and benefit of Canadians, and with the increase in visitors to Canadian parks during the interwar years. In response to public demand, the Crown created the Saint Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada, eastern Canada’s first national park. The Beaurivage Island Shelter was built in response to a perceived need for additional facilities.
The Beaurivage Island Shelter is valued for its very good aesthetics. It is a good example of the rustic aesthetic developed in the 1920s and 1930s for use throughout Canada’s national park system, which was thought to complement the natural setting, and reflected the picturesque aesthetic consistent with National Parks’ tradition. The Beaurivage Island Shelter demonstrates the use of milled-wood frame construction as a more economical alternative to log construction, achieving a rustic image at minimal cost. Good functional design is evidenced in the open interior, while good craftsmanship is evidenced in the woodwork.
The Beaurivage Island Shelter maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, is compatible with the picturesque character of Beaurivage Island and is a familiar landmark to the local community and park visitors.
Sources: Kate MacFarlane, Twenty Eight Buildings, St. Lawrence Islands National Park, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Reports 93-023 through 93-038; Beaurivage Island Picnic Shelter, St. Lawrence Islands National Park, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 93-037.
The following character-defining elements of the Beaurivage Island Shelter should be respected.
Its rustic aesthetic and conformity to standard designs for national park picnic shelters, as manifested in:
- the simple, open design and unpartitioned interior space; in keeping with its role as a public picnic shelter;
- the hipped roof, exposed rafters, vertical wood support posts, wood brackets, low surrounding railing at the front of the structure, and concrete slab floor;
- the use of milled-wood frame construction.
Its unusual design features, as manifested in:
- the enclosed space pierced by two windows at the rear of the structure.
The manner in which it reinforces the picturesque, yet accessible character of the setting as evidenced in:
- its location on Beaurivage Island;
- the compatibility of the building’s rustic form, natural materials and rustic detailing with the picturesque setting;
- the unchanged relationship with the site, in particular its sitting on a remote, wooded island, with a privy and a dock nearby.