Former Dominion Archives Building
Ancien édifice des Archives fédérales
Former Canadian War Museum
Ancien Musée canadien de la guerre
Links and documents
1904/01/01 to 1906/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Designed in a Tudor Revival style, the War Museum consists of a compact rectangular structure with a formal symmetrical facade with a centrally placed entrance emphasized by a projecting bay and raised parapet. A later wing is designed in a similar style with slightly different decorative detailing. The building is located on Sussex Drive where it is one of a number of important public buildings along the street. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
As the first permanent home of both the Dominion Archives (now the National Archives of Canada) and the War Museum, the building contributed substantially to Canada's growing sense of nationhood during the Laurier era. During the first decade and a half of the 20th century, Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier led many projects to create a city worthy of a nation’s capital. Since its construction, the War Museum building has assumed important landmark status in Ottawa. It also makes an important contributions to the streetscape of Sussex Drive. Continuity between the two functions, archives and museum, is further demonstrated by its connection to Sir Arthur Doughty, Dominion Archivist 1904-35, who was a key figure in the development of both institutions.
The earliest portion of the building (c 1905) is strong compact mass, the details and materials of which are well suited to its function. The 1925 addition, intended to be the first of two proposed wings, is designed in similar style but with more overtly Tudor detailing. The War Museum exhibits good functional design characteristics. It was purpose-built to carry the substantial loads imposed by archival storage, to provide large open spaces with minimal intermediate supports, and to be fireproof.
Kate MacFarlane, Former Dominion Archives Building/Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 86-087; Former Dominion Archives Building/Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 86-087.
The heritage character of the building resides primarily in:
-its association with the National Archives and Canadian War Museum;
-the main facades, particularly those of the c1905 block;
-its successful structural design and plan;
-its fine setting on Sussex Drive adjacent to the Royal Canadian Mint and the
-its Tudor-Gothic style.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
1924/01/01 to 1925/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
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