Description of Historic Place
T Block, located at 650 Elizabeth Street, is on the southeast corner of Elizabeth and Oxford Streets, within the Wolseley Barracks of the Canadian Forces Base in the City of London. The three storey white brick Military Stores building and a smaller adjoining structure functioned as the Permanent Married Quarters. Both buildings were constructed circa 1888.
The property was designated by the City of London in 1996 for its historic or architectural value or interest under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. – 3270-148).
The T Block building was constructed as part of the London Infantry School, one of the oldest institutional sites within the City of London. The Infantry School Corps was formed by the Dominion Government in 1883, and “D Company” became stationed in London in 1885. The Infantry School was formed with the intention of recruiting and training militia officers in order to provide leadership and skills in national defence. The T Block functioned as a residence, workshop and storage building and included the Permanent Married Quarters, where the ordinance officers resided. The T Block building is significant, as it represents an early period in London's history and the dedication the city showed in the protection of Canada.
The T Block building was designed in an eclectic style typical of late 19th century architecture, with influences from British Military, High Victorian and Italianate styles. The building has an important and austere presence, and though its functionality was of the utmost importance, the building is still quite attractive and is constructed of high quality materials. The main portion of T Block sits high upon a sandstone foundation, composed of two Tuscan campaniles with both flat and arched windows and featuring a three bay central entrance. Stone horizontal coursing on the buff brick facade gives the building a strong character, as does the Italianate style mansard roof, which is punctuated with dormers. Attached to the north elevation of T Block is the Permanent Married Quarters, a smaller structure with a more domestic appearance. Its most noteworthy feature is the tin roof shed verandah.
Henry James, an engineer who worked for the Department of Militia and Defence, was the architect for the buildings of Wolseley Barracks, including T Block. Also located at Wolseley Barracks/CFB London is the A Block building, a federally designated property, which is similar in design to the T Block building and is considered to be the most outstanding example of James' work.
Located at Wolseley Barracks/CFB London, the T Block building, together with the larger A Block building, Wolseley Hall, the drill hall and stables, forms a district that is both unique and easily identifiable as a military training ground.
Source: City of London, By-law L.S.P. – 3270-148.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the T Block include its:
- “Military Stores” name stone on the facade of the Military Stores building denoting its original use
- buff and white brick construction
- sandstone foundation
- two Tuscan campaniles
- flat and arched windows in campaniles, including stone headers and sills
- mansard roof
- dormer windows which punctuate roofline
- stone horizontal coursing on the facade of the Military Stores building
- tin roof shed verandah on the Permanent Married Quarters portion of the building
- situation within Wolseley Barracks/CFB London
- proximity to other military buildings of significance, including the A Block