Description of Historic Place
Located in downtown Sudbury, the Government of Canada Building is a sleek, modern design with rectangular, horizontal massing. The flat roofed building incorporates minimal detailing and uses smooth, flat, polished materials. The structural grid is clad in red granite with inset blue spandrel panels and green tinted glazing. The window surrounds and the main entrance doors are of polished steel. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Government of Canada Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Government of Canada Building is associated with the development of a national postal service and its expanding growth during the 1950s. The construction of the building represents an extension of the federal presence into Ontario and the provision of government services into regional administrative centres.
Valued for its good aesthetics, the Government of Canada Building is a good example of modern design that exhibits International style characteristics. The horizontal massing and elevations are composed of simple, geometrical forms based on a structural grid module. Subtle textural contrasts juxtaposed with lively colours emphasize the differing functional purposes of the materials. The repetitive rhythm of the green tinted windows and blue spandrel panels is an important visual component of the design. Good use of craftsmanship and materials is evidenced in the exterior wall of this functional building.
The Government of Canada Building reinforces the commercial character of its business district setting where it is a prominent landmark.
Sources: Government of Canada Building, 166 Frederick Street, Sudbury, Ontario, Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 96-072; Government of Canada Building (GOCB), 166 Frederick Street, Sudbury, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 96-072.
The character-defining elements of the Government of Canada Building should be respected.
Its modern design and very good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the three-storey, flat roofed, rectangular massing consisting of interlocking, geometric forms;
- the grid module construction of the curtain wall with a variety of infill materials and windows (spandrel panels or fixed, obscure glazing);
- the flat, polished materials that include black spandrel panels, the smooth red granite facing of the structural grid, the inset curtain wall of blue spandrel panels and the green tinted glazing;
- the generously scaled, polished steel sash windows incorporated into the curtain wall, and the polished steel entrance doors with their panelling, glazing, and hardware;
- the interior configuration, circulation system, the postal counters and lockbox area;
- the interior materials and finishes including the terrazzo flooring and metal handrails.
The manner in which the Government of Canada Building reinforces the commercial character of its business district setting in Sudbury, and is a prominent city landmark, as evidenced by:
- its scale, and materials that complement the other downtown buildings;
- its visibility and familiarity given its prominent location and ongoing use as a post office which makes it a well-known building in the community.