Description of Historic Place
The Shelter, located on Camelot Island, lies within the St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada. The single-storey wooden picnic shelter is open-sided with a hipped roof and chimney. Wooden posts at the perimeter support the roof. Executed in the Rustic style, the building has an unpartitioned interior space and is surrounded by a low surrounding railing comprised of crossed timbers. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Camelot Island Shelter is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Camelot Island Shelter is a very good example of a building associated with the development of Canada’s national park system and early Canadian tourism. It is also associated with the emerging ideals of protecting and enhancing designated wilderness areas for the pleasure and benefit of Canadians, and with the increase in visitors to Canadian parks during the interwar years. In response to public demand, the Crown created the St. Lawrence Islands National Park of Canada, eastern Canada’s first national park. The Camelot Island Shelter was built in response to a perceived need for additional facilities.
The Camelot Island Shelter is valued for its good aesthetics. It is a good example of the rustic aesthetic developed in the 1920s and 1930s for use throughout Canada’s national park system, which was thought to complement the natural setting, and reflected the picturesque aesthetic consistent with National Parks’ tradition. The Camelot Island Shelter demonstrates the use of milled-wood frame construction as a more economical alternative to log construction, achieving a rustic image at minimal cost. Good functional design is evidenced in the open, flexible space, while good craftsmanship is evidenced in the woodwork.
The Camelot Island Shelter maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, is compatible with the picturesque character of Camelot Island and is a familiar landmark to the local community and park visitors.
Sources: Kate MacFarlane, Twenty Eight Buildings, St. Lawrence Islands National Park, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Reports 93-023 through 93-038; Camelot Island Picnic Shelter, St. Lawrence Islands National Park, Heritage Character Statement 93-036.
The following character-defining elements of the Camelot Island Shelter should be respected.
Its rustic aesthetic and conformity to a standard design for national park picnic shelters as manifested in:
- the open design and unpartitioned interior space, in keeping with its role as a public shelter.
- the hipped roof, exposed rafters, wood support posts and diagonal brackets, surrounding half-wall and concrete slab floor;
- the use of milled-wood frame construction.
The manner in which it reinforces the picturesque, yet accessible character of the setting as evidenced in:
- its location on Camelot Island;
- the compatibility of the building’s rustic form, natural materials and rustic detailing with the picturesque setting;
- the unchanged relationship with the site, in particular its siting on a heavily treed island site, with a privy and dock nearby.