353, Freedom Way, City of Windsor, Ontario, N9A, Canada
The Major F.A. Tilston Armoury
The Major F.A. Tilston VC Armoury
Links and documents
1900/01/01 to 1902/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Windsor Armouries is a two-storey, red brick Richardson Romanesque structure located on Freedom Way in downtown Windsor. With a three-storey tower, it typifies the design of Canadian armouries in the early 1900s and is the only armoury in Essex County.
This downtown Windsor landmark is recognized for its heritage value by City of Windsor Bylaw 337-1999.
The Windsor Armouries is a place of pride for the people of Windsor and Essex County. Traditionally, as the only armoury in Essex County, more than 100 years of military and civic functions have been hosted at this location. Constructed from 1900 to 1902, it was built to replace the collection of wooden barracks near City Hall Square and as the new home of the Twenty-first Regiment of Essex County (Fusiliers). Later the renowned Essex Scottish Regiment and subsequently the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment called the Armouries home. It has also housed the Windsor Regiment (Canadian Armored Corps), Army Cadet Corps 1086 and the Windsor District Military Band. In 1994, the building was officially renamed The Major F.A. Tilston VC Armoury. When the regiment moved to a new facility in 2004, the property reverted to City of Windsor ownership.
A downtown landmark since 1902, the Windsor Armouries is an excellent example of an early 20th-century armoury in the popular Richardson Romanesque style. Of red brick with a cut stone foundation and trim, the original structure was designed by architect David Ewart of the Federal Department of Public Works. In 1935, a complementary two-storey addition, designed by Sheppard, Masson and Trace, was added to the south side. The building's impressive design exudes the power associated with 'military might' as displayed by the well-preserved octagonal castellated turret at the northeast corner, the impressive stone entrances on the west and north sides and the mighty oak doors flanked by arched two-storey windows.
Sources: City of Windsor Bylaw 337-1999; Building Analysis Form, November 27, 1998; and City of Windsor Heritage Planner's files.
Key character defining elements that express the heritage value include the:
- striking two-storey Richardson Romanesque design
- red brick construction with cut stone foundation and trim
- octagonal castellated turret at the northeast corner
- large stone entrances on the west side and north sides
- west oak door flanked by sets of five, two-storey arched windows (this was the original front entrance to the Armouries, opening onto a parade ground on Ouellette)
- north oak door flanked by arched two-storey windows and a large arched window over the door
- bank of four identical arched windows on the second floor of the south side
- arched half-window on the gable end
- roof of galvanized shingles with tar and gravel
- 12 pairs of windows on the second storey and 11 windows and a small arched door on the first floor on the east elevation
- downtown location on a busy street (University Avenue near Ouellette)
- impressive massing
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1902/01/01 to 2004/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Military and Defence
Function - Category and Type
- Armoury or Drill Hall
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Office of Heritage Planner, City of Windsor
Cross-Reference to Collection