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Commercial Building

461-465 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/03/27

Corner view of the Commercial Building, showing the mansard roof with regularly placed gabled dormers set over regularly placed windows, 1986.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, D. Johnson, 1986.
Corner view
General view of the Commercial Building, showing the three-and-a-half-storey massing and the symmetrical façade, 1986.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, D. Johnson, 1986.
General view
Façade of the Commercial Building, showing the plan of the principal elevation on Sussex Drive that has three ground floor entrances, and three shop windows, 1986.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, D. Johnson, 1986.
Façade

Other Name(s)

n/a

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1850/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/02/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Located in downtown Ottawa, the Commercial Building is a large, three-and-a-half-storey, cut-stone and brick building with a mansard roof. Regularly spaced windows pierce the smooth stonework of the upper floors and are matched by gabled dormers in the roof. Stone piers and three large shop windows separated by doorways, distinguish the ground floor. The shorter Clarence Street elevation includes a shop window and door separated by an expanse of wall. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

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

Historical Value
The Commercial Building is associated with the commercial development of Ottawa in the mid-19th century. It is a rare survivor from the early period in the development of Sussex Drive. It may be the oldest commercial building extant on this important thoroughfare. It illustrates the large scale that speculative mixed commercial and residential buildings could achieve at this early pre-incorporation date.

Architectural Value
The Commercial Building is valued for its very good aesthetics. It possesses the fine-cut stonework that marks the most important buildings along the east side of Sussex, including the Notre Dame Basilica and the Lasalle Academy. This element establishes an important connection with some of Ottawa’s most significant early architecture and reflects the owner’s concept of the building’s stature. The building’s good functional design is seen in the combination of commercial activity on the ground floor and residential space above. The design is notable for its scale, formal, regular openings and good craftsmanship evident in the smooth dressed stonework.

Environmental Value
The Commercial Building reinforces the historic and commercial character of Sussex Drive in Ottawa and is a familiar landmark to local residents, people working in the vicinity and pedestrians.

Sources: Dana Johnson, 461-465 Sussex, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Buildings Review Office, Report 86-037; 461-465 Sussex, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 86-037.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Commercial Building should be respected.

Its very good aesthetic design, its good functional design and good quality craftsmanship, for example:
- the three-and-a-half-storey massing and the symmetrical façade;
- the mansard roof with regularly placed gabled dormers set over regularly placed windows;
- the exterior walls constructed of cut-stone and brick;
- the wooden sub-cornice, which divides the ground floor from the upper floors;
- the plan of the principal elevation on Sussex Drive that has three ground floor entrances, and three shop windows;
- the shorter Clarence Street elevation that includes a shop window and a doorway;
- the interior spatial arrangement of the principal rooms that allows both commercial and residential use.

The manner in which the Commercial Building reinforces the historic and commercial character of Sussex Drive in downtown Ottawa and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
- its scale, design and materials that maintain a visual and physical relationship between the surrounding buildings, including the Notre Dame Basilica and the Lasalle Academy, and the streetscape;
- its familiarity as a commercial shop to visitors, passing pedestrians, and local residents.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1987/03/27

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

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

2816

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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