Description of Historic Place
The Ore Dressing Laboratory (550 Booth Street) is part of the Energy, Mines and Resources Canmet complex on Booth Street. The rectangular, three-storey building is clad in dark red brick with a symmetrically aligned rooftop monitor on a flat roof. The classically influenced building has large, regularly placed, industrial sash windows and a pale stone pediment and entablature at the entrance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Ore Dressing Laboratory (550 Booth Street) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Ore Dressing Laboratory (550 Booth Street), as part of the Booth Street complex of buildings, is one of the best examples of a building associated with the development of the Canadian mining and energy industries. It is specifically associated with research in the field of developing commercially viable methods of recovering metal from ores. Designed to accommodate tests and investigations of the Ore Dressing and Metallurgical Division, the laboratory was strategically located next to the Canadian National Railway corridor (no longer in use) for delivery of bulk ore samples stored in the adjoining open lots. Although operations are reduced today, the building still serves its original purpose with only minor alterations.
The Ore Dressing Laboratory (550 Booth Street) is valued for its good aesthetics. The formal symmetry of the windows and doors on the principal elevation is classical in inspiration. Very good functional design is seen in the building’s fireproof purpose built construction, consisting of a steel frame, brick-clad exterior, with concrete used for the floors, main roof slab and roof monitor. Features such as the rooftop monitor, the large industrial fenestration, and vehicular openings clearly express the building’s function as the site of heavy industrial-type research. Good craftsmanship is seen in the masonry. Simplified stone and brickwork create a modern, laboratory-like character with clean lines.
The Ore Dressing Laboratory (550 Booth Street) is compatible with its industrial complex setting.
Sources: Edgar Tumak, Ore Dressing Laboratory, Energy, Mines and Resources (EMR) Canmet Complex, 550 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 86-061: Ore Dressing Laboratory, 550 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 86-061.
The following character-defining elements of the Ore Dressing Laboratory (550 Booth Street) should be respected:
Its good aesthetic, its very good functional design and good quality materials, for example:
- the industrial scale and three-storey massing;
- the flat roof crowned by a monitor;
- the fireproof construction, consisting of a steel frame, brick-clad exterior, with concrete used for the floors, main roof slab and roof monitor;
- the exterior walls clad in brick, the industrial steel framed, multi-paned sash windows;
- the central main entrance with stone surround and entablature, and the large loading doors to either side;
- the interior configuration, and the ore processing machinery.
The manner in which the Ore Dressing Laboratory (550 Booth Street) is compatible with its industrial complex setting, as evidenced by:
- its massing, materials and design that harmonize with the other buildings within the complex.