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Defensible Lockmaster’s House

Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada / Lieu historique national du Canada du Canal-Rideau, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/07/06

General view of the right façade of the Defensible Lockmaster’s House, 1987.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1987.
General view
General view of the Defensible Lockmaster’s House, 1987.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1987.
General view
General view of the left façade of the Defensible Lockmaster’s House, 1987.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1987.
General view

Other Name(s)

Defensible Lockmaster’s House
Lockmaster's House
Maison du maître-éclusier

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1842/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/04/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Defensible Lockmaster’s House overlooks the Rideau Canal from an artificial island close to the lock at Upper Brewers Lockstation. The single-storey, cube-shaped building has heavy stone walls pierced with loopholes and a hipped roof with a central brick chimney. The central main entrance is flanked by windows and protected by an open wood porch. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is a good example of a building associated with the construction, and operation of the Rideau Canal. It illustrates the theme of military defence for the United Canada’s in the 19th century, as well as the evolution and transformation of the waterway as a federal public work. The building, built in 1842, served as a combined military-residential function until 1856, when the canal was turned over to the United Provinces of Canada by the British Ordnance Department, and thereafter, continued to provide accommodation for the lockmaster.

Architectural Value
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is valued for its good aesthetic design. Built as a defensible residence, it is a dual-purpose structure, military and residential, that retains many of the characteristics of its original defensive design and functions. The small wood frame addition and the open porch give the structure a more residential appearance. This resulted from a change in the function of the canal by the twentieth century from defence to recreation and commerce. Its materials and craftsmanship exemplify the high design standards of the Royal Engineers.

Environmental Value
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House reinforces the historic character of its park-like setting at Upper Brewers Lockstation and is a familiar local landmark.

Sources: Joanna H. Doherty, Defensible Lockmaster’s House, Davis and Upper Brewer’s Lock Stations, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Reports 88-080 and 88-081. Defensible Lockmaster’s House, Upper Brewers Lockstation, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 88-081.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Defensible Lockmaster’s House should be respected.

Its good aesthetic, very good functional design and very good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the single-storey massing with a hipped roof, and a central chimney;
- the thick, stone exterior walls of evenly coursed masonry with infilled loopholes;
- the placement of the windows and doors;
- the wooden, open porch, and the small wood frame addition at the rear;
- the interior configuration.

The manner in which the Defensible Lockmaster’s House reinforces the historic character of its park-like setting at Upper Brewers Lockstation and is a familiar local landmark, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, design and materials, which harmonize with the lock station surroundings;
- its visibility, due to its prominent location adjacent to the canal, which makes it a local landmark.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1989/07/06

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1890/01/01 to 1890/01/01
1899/01/01 to 1899/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Transport-Water
Harbour Facility

Historic

Residence
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

3326

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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