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Carillon Barracks

50 Principale St., Carillon, Quebec, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/01/21

General view of the Carillon Barracks, showing the multi-paned, wooden sash windows along the side façade, 1977.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1977.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Carillon Barracks
Old Barracks
L’ancienne caserne

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1835/01/01 to 1837/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/02/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Carillon Barracks, also known as the Old Barracks, in Carillon, Québec, enjoys a commanding view of the Ottawa River. The large, rectangular stone structure was built as two blocks, separated by a wide stonewall running from basement to attic, and joined by a hipped roof. A central dormer and symmetrically placed chimneys mark the main façades. Each block has a wide entrance door decorated with transom and side lights, and a Palladian window above. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Carillon Barracks are a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of their historical associations, and architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value
The Carillon Barracks are closely associated with the history of defence and transportation in Lower Canada. Constructed for Charles John Forbes, a retired Commissioner of the British Army, the building was used as a troop quarters during the building of the Carillon Canal and the Rebellion of 1837, and later as a residence and hotel. The town of Carillon once saw a great deal of cargo and passenger traffic, as the terminus of the steamship line from Montréal, and the head of the rail line to Grenville. Since 1938, the building has housed the museum of the Argenteuil Historical Society and it is now part of Carillon Barracks National Historic Site of Canada.

Architectural Value
The Carillon Barracks are valued for their excellent aesthetic design, and are a fine example of the classic British architecture found in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa valleys. The character of the building resides in its neoclassical scale, massing and proportions, and in the detailing of its façades with their symmetrically arranged matching doors, Palladian windows, sash windows, dormers and corner chimneys. The simplicity and versatility of the floor plan demonstrates a very good functional design, which has successfully accommodated the building’s various uses. In addition, the very good craftsmanship of the building is evidenced in its stone work and detailing as well as the finishing woodwork on the interior.

Environmental Value
The Carillon Barracks, with their commanding view of the Ottawa River, reinforce the character of its picturesque residential setting. The building attracted many holiday travelers in the early 20th century and is well-known in the region.

Sources: Old Barracks, Carillon, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 90-016;Old Barracks, Carillon, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 90-016.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Carillon Barracks should be respected.

The excellent aesthetic design, very good functional design and very good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the rectangular structure, comprised of two separate blocks, constructed back-to-back, each with its own façade, and separated by a thick stone wall from basement to attic;
- the hipped roof with its symmetrical arrangement of chimneys and dormers;
- the composition of the main façades at either end of the building with their large entrance door with depressed-arch transom and side lights, and a second storey depressed-arch Palladian window with two side windows and symmetrically positioned eight-over-eight sash windows;
- the cut-stone facing with quoins on the main façades and the rough stone masonry of the side walls;
- the multi-paned, wooden sash windows along the side façade;
- the simplicity and versatility of the floor plan including the arrangement of the corridors and door locations;
- the interior finishing materials such as the wall cladding of either boards or plaster and the wood floors;
- the interior trim including the fireplaces, mantles, arched doorways on the ground floor, doors, baseboards and staircases.

The manner in which the Carillon Barracks reinforce the character of its picturesque residential setting and is a well known building in Carillon, as evidenced by:
- the overall scale, design and materials which complement the river view setting and harmonize with the landscaped surroundings;
- the role as a museum and attraction, as part of a National Historic Site of Canada, which makes it familiar to residents and visitors of the area.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Military Support

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Conservation and Commemoration Directorate, Documentation Centre, 3rd Floor, Room 366, 30 Victoria St, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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