Description of Historic Place
Building A-78, also known as Dyte Hall, sits within the Royal Canadian Air Force complex of buildings east of the sports field at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden and is surrounded on all four sides by the base’s roadway system. It is a large, rectangular, brick recreation facility with a low-pitched roof and shallow, one-storey annexes along the front and rear elevations. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building A-78 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Building A-78 is directly associated with the expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces and their facilities prior to and during the Second World War, and reflects the full scale development of the base at this time.
Building A-78 is valued as a fine example of military architecture with simplified, classically- inspired details. Its uncompromisingly, good functional design is demonstrated in its simple footprint, rooflines and massing which reflect the symmetry and the large volume essential to the drill hall and recreation function. The building is also valued for its quality construction materials and good craftsmanship as seen in its masonry construction such as the use of structural clay tile to provide lateral strength and stability to the steel frame structure.
Building A-78 reinforces the formally planned character of its military base setting. It is a familiar landmark within the immediate area and to military personnel.
Sources: Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Research Notes, Building A-78, 94-088; Dyte Hall (Building A78), Canadian Forces Base Borden, Borden, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 94-088.
The character-defining elements of Building A-78 should be respected.
Its aesthetic qualities, functional design and quality craftsmanship, for example:
- the symmetrical massing, which consists of a large rectangular main building with a
low-pitched roof and shallow one-storey annexes along the front and rear elevations;
- the classically-inspired detailing uniformly applied to all elevations which creates a
vertical emphasis along the elevations;
- the main central arched opening, flanked by two smaller arched openings; and the rusticated brick detailing;
- the window treatment, including the tall, narrow, window openings symmetrically
arranged along all elevations of the main body and the front annex’s twelve-light wood
windows with four-light operating ventilators and exterior metal screening;
- the masonry construction, including the masonry infill exterior walls with structural
clay tile that provide lateral strength and stability to the steel frame structure, and the
exterior tiles, each the height of two common bricks;
- the well-constructed steel frame;
- the exposed steel truss system, and the structural steel columns in the exterior walls that
form pilasters, which divide the large interior space into bays;
- the interior layout divided into three areas: the front annex with its main entrance and
offices, the main hall/arena, and the rear annex which is a long, largely windowless
The manner in which Building A-78 reinforces the formally planned character of its military base setting at CFB Borden, and is a well-known landmark within the area, as evidenced by:
- its scale, design and materials, which harmonizes with the buildings in its immediate
vicinity east of the sport field at the base;
- its clear relationship with the base’s roadway system, and its role as a recreational
facility at the base, which makes it familiar to military personnel;
- its role as one of the older wartime structures at CFB Borden, which also makes it
familiar within the immediate area.