Description of Historic Place
The Junior Commissariat Officer’s Quarters is situated at Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site of Canada on the outskirts of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The building stands amongst park-like lawns and trees. The low, T-shaped, wood frame structure has a gable roof, prominent chimneys and regular, shuttered windows. The symmetrical, three-bay façade has a central, projecting entrance, while the rear of the building is linked to a brick kitchen. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Junior Commissariat Officer’s Quarters is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Junior Commissariat Officer’s Quarters is one of the best examples of a structure associated with the ongoing development and defence of Niagara-on-the-Lake during the early 19th century. The Butler’s Barracks complex was established by the British after the War of 1812-1814, to barrack and train troops used in the defence of Upper Canada. Originally used to house British officers, from 1837 to 1969 the Officer’s Quarters were in use by both regular Canadian troops and the militia and is thus associated with the evolution of the Canadian army. The building is one of five structures at Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site of Canada, which was established by the federal government in 1951.
Valued for its very good aesthetic design, the Junior Commissariat Officer’s Quarters is an example of an early 19th-century frame cottage completed in the Georgian manner. It is a balanced, well-proportioned composition with little ornamentation. It is a good functional, efficient response to the prevailing conditions where local materials were readily used, as seen, for example in the extension that joins the originally detached kitchen to the main structure. Good craftsmanship is evidenced in the wood framing and the brickwork.
The Junior Commissariat Officer’s Quarters reinforces the historic character of Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site of Canada and is a familiar landmark to residents and to visitors.
Sources: Shannon Ricketts, Twenty Buildings, Niagara Historic Sites, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 89-016; Junior Commissariat Officer’s Quarters, Butler’s Barracks, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 89-016.
The character-defining elements of the Junior Commissariat Officer’s Quarters should be respected.
Its very good aesthetics, very good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the low, one-and-a-half storey massing;
- the low-pitched gabled roof with wood shake roof cladding and prominent chimneys;
- the wood frame construction with brick infill set on a stone foundation;
- the symmetrical, three-bay façade with central projecting entrance and shuttered multi-pane windows;
- the white painted clapboard cladding;
- the interior configuration.
The manner in which the Junior Commissariat Officer's Quarters reinforces the historic character of the national historic site of Canada and is a well-known regional landmark, as evidenced by:
- its simple design and materials that harmonize with the nearby Gunshed, Commissariat Stores, and other historic buildings within the military setting;
- its role as an important component of the group of surviving structures from the Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site of Canada that makes it familiar to locals and visitors.