Description of Historic Place
The Armoury is prominently located near the War Memorial in downtown Brantford. The large volume of the drill hall is fronted by a monumental, fortress-like façade of brick and stone, with projecting crenellated end pavilions. The main entrance is housed in an octagonal, castellated corner tower. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Armoury is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Armoury is closely associated with the pre-World War I building campaign and the reform and expansion of the volunteer militia. The alterations and enlargement of the building reflect government policy to provide improved local training facilities for the militia.
The Armoury is valued for its good aesthetic design. Alterations to the original armoury resulted in a monumental and ordered design, which introduced references to medieval military architecture. The distinctive exterior massing encloses a large drill hall, messes, classrooms and storage facilities. The good quality masonry work features medieval military detailing, including buttresses, dentilated stringcourses, corbelling and crenellations.
The Armoury, located near the War Memorial, reinforces the historic character of its town park setting. A prominent building, the Armoury is a familiar landmark in the city.
Sources: Armoury, Brantford, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office, Building Report, 91-144; Armoury, Brantford, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 91-144.
The character-defining elements of the Armoury should be respected.
Its good aesthetic design and fortress motif, good functional design, and good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the massing consisting of a two-storey, gable-roofed hall with two-storey flat roofed ancillary blocks at the end and side;
- the front block, with its crenellated profile, prominent chimneys, projecting end pavilions, and three-storey corner octagonal tower;
- the symmetrical, regular pattern of the wood sash windows and the doors;
- the materials, including the smooth-faced, red-brick with sandstone, set upon a rusticated limestone base;
- the masonry work with medieval military detailing, including buttresses, dentilated stringcourses, corbelling and crenellations;
- the wood porch construction with a bracketed cornice, paired pilasters and columns with bosses and brackets;
- the open spatial volume of the drill hall.
The manner in which the Armoury reinforces the historic character of its town park setting and is a familiar landmark as evidenced by:
-its distinctive exterior massing and prominent scale relative to the adjacent heritage district and near the War Memorial, which contributes to the overall historic character of the park setting;
-its monumental, fortress-like appearance and high standards of construction which reinforce the importance of the building within the community;
-its familiarity and visibility within the region given its large scale, prominent location and known historical associations.