Description of Historic Place
Elevator B, as part of the Elevator 5 complex, dominates the western sector of the Old Port in Montréal. It is a massive rectangular building composed of a lower section clad in brick, silos with large riveted steel plates and a narrower upper level clad in corrugated metal panels. Industrial type fenestration is concentrated in the upper and lower sections. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Elevator B is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Elevator B, as part of the Elevator 5 complex, is a very good example of an industrial building that illustrates the theme of grain exportation in Canada. From 1880 onward, the grain trade assumed major importance. For several decades, wheat would be the main export commodity transiting through the Port of Montréal and it was one of the main driving forces of the Canadian economy. The Elevator 5 project was initiated by the Grand Trunk Railway Company in 1903 and, in 1922, it transferred ownership to the Montreal Harbour Commission, the predecessor of the Port of Montreal.
Elevator B is valued for its good aesthetic qualities and very good functional design. Its structure exhibits the angular lines characteristic of the use of steel. It illustrates the first steel prototypes associated with the grain handling process, demonstrated in its various forms and materials, which correspond to its various functions. Interior details, including mechanical equipment and the railways tracks, illustrate the loading and unloading of the grain inside the building.
Elevator B, as part of the Elevator 5 complex, reinforces the industrial character of its port setting in Montréal and is a well-known landmark in the area.
Sources: Jacqueline Hallé, Elevator No. 5, Port of Montreal, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 95-087; Elevator No. 5, Montreal, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 95-087.
The character-defining elements of Elevator B should be respected.
Its good aesthetic and very good functional design and good craftsmanship and materials, as for example:
- the massive rectangular building surmounted by a narrower upper section;
- the various treatments of the envelope, which correspond to the various functions;
- the brick-faced concrete lower section, which was the grain receiving and shipping area;
- the silos comprised of large riveted steel plates;
- the upper levels, clad in corrugated metal panels, which house the mechanical equipment used to weigh and distribute the grain in the silos;
-the industrial-type fenestration, which is concentrated in the upper and lower sections of the building, surmounted by surbased arches, the only decorative elements on the building;
- the interior details, including the original mechanical equipment and the railways tracks that illustrate the loading and unloading of the grain inside the building, as well as the elements that are part of the cyclone dust removal system.
The manner in which Elevator B reinforces the industrial character of its port setting at the Old Port and is a well-known landmark in the Montréal landscape, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, design and materials, which enhance the industrial and port character in the western sector of the Old Port;
- its visibility and familiarity as a landmark in the Montréal landscape due to its imposing size and prominent location at the port.