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Silver Springs Farm, Barn

3502 Richmond Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/09/28

General view of the Barn, 1989.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, M. Phemister, 1989.
General view
Panoramic view of the Silver Springs Farm Barn demonstrating its design qualities, materials and appearance that complement the rural surroundings.; National Capital Commission / Commission de la Capitale Nationale, n.d.
Side view of the Silver Springs Farm Barn showing the south elevation.; National Capital Commission / Commission de la Capitale Nationale, n.d.
Side view

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1880/01/01 to 1910/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/04/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Set amongst landscaped gardens, lawns and an orchard, with an evergreen windbreak and open fields beyond, the Silver Springs Farm Barn, is located in the Greenbelt area of Nepean Township in the city of Ottawa. The wood frame Barn complex comprises four interconnected barns arranged in a ‘U’-shape. The dairy and horse barn have gambrel roofs and are set at right angles to the larger hay barn and attached drive shed. The elevations have a regular placement of windows and doors with simple detailing. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Barn is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Barn is associated with the scientific design of farm buildings at the turn of the century and with the Bearman brothers for whom the farmhouse was built in 1867. The brothers were prosperous, second-generation Irish settlers active in politics and local affairs. As an agricultural complex, the property has recently been modified to support a residential and work program for the Ottawa and District Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. This organization leases the house, barns and grounds from the National Capital Commission, the present custodian.

Architectural Value:
The Barn is valued for its very good aesthetics and features well-proportioned gambrel roofs with gentle slopes and flared eaves. The ‘U’-shape of the complex is also significant as a record of adaptation to the Canadian climate conditions. It is a good functional structure with minimal ornamentation that exhibits good craftsmanship in the variety of framing and shingling. The structure presents as one unified whole, a point reinforced by the exterior’s single colour treatment with white accenting.

Environmental Value:
The Barn dominates and establishes the present rural and agricultural character of its property setting. The height and volume of the Barn complex make it visually prominent and make it a conspicuous neighbourhood landmark.

Sources: Martha Phemister, Silver Spring Farm, 3501 Richmond Road, Nepean Township, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 88-183; Silver Spring Farm, 3502 Richmond Road, Nepean, Ontario Heritage Character Statement 88-183.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Barn should be respected.

Its very good aesthetic design, good functional design, good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
-the ‘U’-shaped plan and picturesque massing;
-the well-proportioned gambrel roof with gentle slopes and slight flared eaves;
-the variety of structural framing exhibited within the timber frame structure;
-the varied exterior cladding including horizontal cladding and vertical siding;
-the regular placement of doors and window openings;
-the interior configuration and fittings with wooden partitions and the open volume of the hay barn with loft above.

The manner in which the Barn establishes the rural and agricultural character of its property setting and is a conspicuous neighbourhood landmark, as evidenced by:
-its design qualities, materials and appearance that complement the rural surroundings;
-the manner in which the barn complex strongly emphasises the agricultural belt setting and complements the farmhouse, greenhouses and associated farm buildings;
-the large structure’s visibility to passing traffic owing to its location in full view of the highway;
-its local high profile through its current role supporting a residential and work program.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Food Supply
Barn, Stable or Other Animal Housing

Architect / Designer




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




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