Description of Historic Place
The Latrine is located at the Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada, which overlooks the St. Lawrence River. The single-storey building is a heavy frame structure and is rectangular in plan. Its shallow hipped roof is clad in wood shingles while clapboard siding protects the exterior. It stands on an open grassed area within the earthworks. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Latrine is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Latrine, as an integral part of Fort Wellington, is a very good example of a building associated with the active defence of Upper Canada, in the context of the upper St. Lawrence frontier in the post-Rebellion era. The threat of an American invasion prompted military authorities to upgrade the principal fortifications in Upper Canada and to improve the defensible works along the Rideau Canal. Fort Wellington was a “revolt station” or a focal point for the militia in the event of a crisis. The Latrine relates to the theme of garrison life during the 1840s. With its separate areas for enlisted men, officers, and women, it reflects the social barriers of the period between the officer class and the rank and file.
Valued for its good aesthetics, the Latrine fulfilled a specific role within the ensemble of buildings of the fort complex and is a rare surviving example of this type of facility at a Canadian military post of the period. Of pleasing proportions, its very good functional design is expressed through the heavy wood structural system and small windows. The clapboard siding and the hipped roof form were common design features of military buildings of the period. Good craftsmanship and materials are evident in the exterior walls.
The Latrine reinforces the historic character of Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada and is a well-known regional landmark to residents and to visitors.
James De Jonge, Four Buildings, Fort Wellington National Historic Sites, Prescott, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report 90-305; Fort Wellington Latrine, Fort Wellington National Historic Site, Prescott, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 90-305
The character-defining elements of the the Latrine should be respected.
Its good aesthetics, functional design and quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the simple one-storey massing;
- the hipped roof;
- the exterior walls clad with horizontal clapboard;
- the placement of windows and doors and the small four-pane windows;
- the masonry foundations;
- the interior configuration with partitions and fixtures.
The manner in which the Latrine reinforces the historic character of the national historic site of Canada, and is familiar landmark of the region, as evidenced by:
- the ongoing relationship to the open grassed area within the earthworks;
- its simple design and materials that harmonize with the nearby earthworks, the front gate and adjacent structures;
- its integral role within the group of structures that comprise the Fort Wellington National Historic Site of Canada complex, and its visibility due to its proximity to the Blockhouse which make it familiar to the local community and visitors.