Description of Historic Place
Located at the Peterborough Armoury National Historic Site of Canada, the large Peterborough Armoury is an excellent example of a robust Romanesque Revival style. Constructed of smooth red brick with a contrasting rough-faced stone foundation and strong stone accents the building features towers, turrets and a crenellated roofline. The large, gabled drill hall, with its high, arched window, counters the horizontal emphasis of the principal façade. The troop door is notable for its elaborately heavy arched entrance with its cannonball motif. Regular windows, stringcourses and decorative stonework enliven the armoury’s three other sides. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Peterborough Armoury is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Peterborough Armoury is a very good example of a structure associated with the pre-First World War building campaign and the expansion of the volunteer militia. The armoury reflects the federal reform policies of Robert Borden the Minister of Militia and Defence. Borden advocated the supply of arms to all militias and the construction of local training facilities. The building served as a training and recruitment centre during the two World Wars and is home to the Hastings and Prince Edward County Regiment, a regiment distinguished for having earned the largest number of battle honours during the Second World War.
The Peterborough Armoury is valued for its excellent aesthetic design, a design that clearly expresses its function. It is an excellent example of a class ‘B’ armoury that draws upon military design sources for details and materials. Of particular note is the lively play between lines, colours and textures that are presented in a balanced and controlled composition. The rough-faced stone base and the stone detailing provide textural and visual contrast to the red brick walls. The expansive, gable-roofed drill hall, one of the largest in Canada, provides very good functional space through the use of metal Fink trusses.
The Peterborough Armoury is compatible with the present downtown character of the setting and is a conspicuous landmark in the area.
Sources: Joan Mattie, Armoury, 220 Murray Street, Peterborough, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review, Office Report 89-076; Armoury, 220 Murray Street, Peterborough, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 89-076.
The character-defining elements of the Peterborough Armoury should be respected.
Its excellent aesthetic, very good functional design, and good quality materials, for example:
-the large scale and massing which include the front and rear double-storied façades flanked by crenellated corner towers;
-the structure’s large gable-roofed drill hall with its large arched window surrounded by a strong stone frame;
-the principal façade that incorporates an arched troop door entrance in rough-faced stone with cannonball ornamentation;
-the masonry, including the rough-faced stone at the basement level, the flat, red brick walls and decorative stone detailing, including coping, crenellation and stringcourses;
-the large, open volume of the drill hall interior spanned by exposed metal Fink trusses that support a gable roof on wooden purlins, which are in turn strengthened by herringbone struts;
-the well-crafted features such as stairways with handsome panelled doors, newel posts and balustrades.
The manner in which the Peterborough Armoury is compatible with the present character of its downtown setting and is a conspicuous landmark in the area, as evidenced by:
-its large scale, design and distinctive profile that contribute to the character of its downtown setting;
-the structure’s specialized military role and prominent downtown position next to a park surrounded by open space that make it a community landmark.