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Drill Hall

St. Jean Avenue, Canadian Forces Base Gagetown/ Base des Forces canadiennes Gagetown, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/04/22

Front façade of the Drill Hall, showing the horizontal band windows on the side elevations, 2001.; Department of National Defence / Ministère de la Défense nationale, 2001.
Interior view of the Drill Hall, showing the lobby and main entrance, 2003.; Department of National Defence / Ministère de la Défense nationale, 2003.
Interior view
North-east elevation of the Drill Hall, showing its simple and unadorned exterior composition, 2001.; Department of National Defence / Ministère de la Défense nationale, 2001.

Other Name(s)

Drill Hall
Building H12
Bâtiment H12

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Drill Hall, also known as Building H12, is a basic two-storey rectangular structure with a medium pitched gable roof, surrounded on its front and side elevations by a one-storey flat-roofed bay. Its design is characterized by a strong horizontality, which is articulated through the use of band windows, and also features large expanses of glass curtain wall at the gable ends. The drill hall is located on an open grassed site, in the central training and manoeuvres area of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Gagetown. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Drill Hall is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
Among the first buildings to be built at CFB Gagetown, the largest army-training base in the Commonwealth, the Drill Hall is a very good example of the national theme of the establishment of a large permanent regular force in response to Canada’s North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and other Cold War commitments. As one of the early buildings and an integral part of the development of the base, the Drill Hall is also a very good example of the establishment of the base as a significant turning point in the local community.

Architectural Value
The Drill Hall is a good example of a standard plan, designed by the well-known firm of Gordon S. Adamson & Associates and widely used by the Department of National Defence on several of its military bases during the 1950s. A modern interpretation of a traditional building type, it features a simple and unadorned composition and conveys a sense of permanence. Its good standard layout, also a modern version of the well-established typology for drill halls, has served its function well, as demonstrated by its continuity of use.

Environmental Value
The Drill Hall reinforces the military character of the training and manoeuvres area of the base, through its visual identity as a training facility and its distinctive design. Its location and use as a gathering space for various events have also contributed to making the building a familiar landmark to the community of the base.

Sources: Robert J. Burns, Heritage Research Associates, Inc., Federal Heritage Building Review Office Report 01-062; D15 Drillhall[?], CFB Gagetown, Oromocto, New-Brunswick, Heritage Character Statement 01-062.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Drill Hall should be respected.

Its simple and modern interpretation of the traditional drill hall typology, its functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, as demonstrated in:
- its simple and unadorned exterior composition, made up of the contrasting volumes and roof lines of the building’s central gabled portion and the lower flat-roofed side bays;
- its strong horizontality as expressed through the use of horizontal band windows on the side elevations;
- the large expanses of glazing at the roof peaks at the front and rear elevations;
- the standard interior layout consisting of a large central training space surrounded by smaller spaces accommodating offices, the shooting range and service areas;
- the building’s rationalized structural concrete frame, including the pre-cast concrete slab roof and steel beam and concrete block structural walls, which was a standard approach for this building type;
- the durable exterior materials including concrete, brick, steel and glass;
- the offset main entrance door, which contrasts with the overall symmetry of the building.

The manner in which the building reinforces the military character of the training and manoeuvres area of the base, through its continuous use as a drill hall, distinctive design and the sense of permanence it conveys, as manifested in:
- the visual identity of the building as a training structure, due to its clear massing and large gable roof;
- its scale, materials and architectural components, which are similar to those of neighbouring buildings;
- the building’s relationship to its well-defined rectangular site, delimited by roadways and featuring lawn and simple plantings.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Armoury or Drill Hall

Architect / Designer

Department of National Defence



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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