Commanding Officer's Residence
Commanding Officer's Residence
Résidence du commandant
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Commanding Officer’s Residence is prominently situated on the grounds of Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada, in Saskatchewan. It is a modestly scaled, two-storey, wood frame house designed on an L-shaped plan and topped by a gabled-roof with decorative gable-end trefoils and bargeboards. The building features an off-centred main entrance and multi-paned windows that are topped by gable drip moldings. The official recognition refers to the footprint of the building.
The Commanding Officer’s Residence is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Commanding Officer’s Residence is one of the best examples of a structure associated with the role of the North West Mounted Police in the settlement of the Prairie frontier during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The building's singular design illustrates an important facet of the lifestyle at divisional outposts during this period. Built in 1876, it is also closely associated with the founding era of the post and the establishment of the Town of Battleford. The residence has been occupied by a succession of Mounted Police officers, most notably the legendary commander Samuel Benfield Steele, a figure of national historical significance.
The Commanding Officer’s Residence is a very good example of a late 19th century federally designed building on the Prairies. It combines the stylistic influences from Eastern Canada with local materials and Red River frame technology. Its very good functional design is evident in its interior layout: an original side-hall plan that has evolved in response to occupants’ needs. Decorative features such as the gable-end trefoils, bargeboard, bay window, and the decorative treatment of structural openings attest to the building’s good craftsmanship.
The Commanding Officer’s Residence is the most prominent feature at Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada. Located on spacious grounds, the building reinforces the present character of its fort setting and is a familiar landmark in the region.
Sources: J. de Jonge, Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada Commanding Officer’s Residence, Fort Battleford, Saskatchewan, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 89-010; Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada Commanding Officer’s Residence, Fort Battleford, Saskatchewan, Heritage Character Statement, 89-010.
The character-defining elements of the Commanding Officer’s Residence should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic and functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- its present configuration, and all extant fabric and detailing derived from the full period of Mounted Police force occupancy;
- its Eastern Canadian standard in residential design, namely its two storeys, gable roof and L-shaped plan;
- the decorative gable-end trefoils and bargeboard, bay window, and decorative treatment of structural openings;
- the interior layout, which is typical of the late 19th century;
- the summer kitchen and verandah additions, which respect the clarity of the original form and demonstrate how the dwelling evolved in response to occupants’ needs;
- its regional influence emerging in the use of local building materials, primarily wood, and Red River frame technology.
The manner in which the Commanding Officer’s Residence reinforces the historic character of the fort and is a well-known landmark in the region, as evidenced by:
- its simple design and materials that harmonize with the Officers’ Quarters and other buildings within the historic fort setting;
- its role as an important and prominent component of the group of surviving structures at Fort Battleford National Historic Site of Canada that has made it a familiar landmark for locals and visitors.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection
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