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Stone Frigate (No. 23)

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/04/11

General view of the Stone Frigate (No. 23), 1993.; Department of National Defence / Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1993.
General view
General view of the rear elevation of the Stone Frigate emphasizing its visibility and familiarity given its distinct appearance, historical associations, and prominent location, 1993.; Department of National Defence / Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1993.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Stone Frigate (No. 23)
Stone Frigate, Building R23
Frégate en pierre, bâtiment R23

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/04/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Stone Frigate (No. 23) at Royal Military College is a freestanding building facing the parade square and backing on to Lake Ontario. This austere building is faced in limestone and topped with a low-pitched hipped roof. The well-proportioned façade is distinguished by the evenly spaced rhythm of its many windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Stone Frigate (No. 23) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Stone Frigate (No. 23) is one of the best examples of a structure associated with the early military history of British North America. Its construction was directly related to the disarmament process after the war of 1812. The building bears witness to the shift in the defence of Canada away from a maritime strategy to a campaign of extensive land-based fortifications and canals. After the withdrawal of the British army from Canada in 1820, the Royal Military College (RMC) was established to provide a system of military education to train officers for the armed forces and militia. The building, as the first building on site at the College, is also associated with the early years of growth and prosperity in Kingston.

Architectural Value
The Stone Frigate (No. 23) demonstrates a very good aesthetic design which displays the high quality of design and construction typical of British military architecture. The building represents an austere interpretation of the British Classical tradition of architecture, befitting its function as a warehouse. Elements of this tradition, based on a strong sense of order, symmetry and balance, are evidenced in the building’s simple form and distinguished patterning. The building is one of the best surviving examples of the work of Archibald Fraser, a Scottish-born architect-builder whose building practice spread across Upper and Lower Canada.

Environmental Value
The Stone Frigate (No. 23) reinforces the character of the parade square precinct at Royal Military College and is a familiar building on campus.

Sources: Janet Wright, Stone Frigate (Building 23), Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office 93-099; Stone Frigate, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 93-099.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Stone Frigate (No. 23) should be respected.

Its British Classical style, good functional design and very good craftsmanship and materials, for example:
-the well-proportioned, three-storey massing consisting of a 15 bay structure with a low-pitched hipped roof;
-the symmetrical arrangement of the façade including the projecting, central entry and the projecting stringcourse between storeys;
-the masonry construction including the smooth-dressed limestone and cut stone;
-the round-headed windows and the double-hung sash windows;
-the interior circulation and access patterns through the central hallway;
-the interior features, including the solid masonry partition wall and curved stairway of the entry.

The manner in which the Stone Frigate (No. 23) reinforces the present character of the parade ground precinct setting and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
-its austere design, cut stone and the restrained use of ornamentation which contributes to the eclectic architectural character of the square;
-its visibility and familiarity given its distinct appearance, historical associations, and prominent location.




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



Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Royal Engineers, under the supervision of Archibald Fraser



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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