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Building D70

Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/04/24

Main Office, Building D70 Recognized Federal Heritage Building; (Ian Doull, AHB, Parks, 1989.)
Exterior photo
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Other Name(s)

Dockyard Main Office
Bureau principale de l'arsenal
Dockyard D70
Arsenal maritime D70
Building D70

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Building D70 is a classically inspired, symmetrical, two-storey brick structure featuring a prominent, central entrance bay flanked by two bays on each side, a flat roof, a recessed third floor addition, and a raised basement. Building D70 is located on a large, irregularly shaped site on the north side of Hospital Road, within the Dockyard at CFB Esquimalt. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Building D70 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical value:
Building D70 is associated with Canadian west-coast naval defence and the build-up of Canadian naval facilities in the years immediately prior to and during World War II, in an era of exclusive Canadian control of the Esquimalt Dockyard. In response to increased administrative functions, Building D70 was constructed as the administration and command center of the dockyard and contained the office of the officer-in-charge and his staff. Building D70 was the first major Canadian-built structure erected in the Dockyard by the Royal Canadian Navy following the acquisition of the site by Canada in 1910, and as such, the first significant manifestation of the multi-phased wartime expansion of the Dockyard.

Architectural value:
Characterized by a formal and symmetrical composition, Building D70 is a good example of a classically inspired design employed in federal buildings during the 1930s. Constructed of good quality materials and craftsmanship, the strong vertical emphasis of the exterior elevations is balanced by subtly detailed horizontal elements that consist of contrasting materials such as the raised bush-hammered concrete foundation, a continuous stone belt course, and parapet capstone.

Environmental value:
Prominent and highly visible, Building D70 reinforces the military setting of the Dockyard. Located on a large, irregularly shaped open site that is set back from the edge of the road, it features a rectangular, landscaped area in front of the main entrance where it is distinguishable from and compliments the Royal Navy-era brick buildings that surround it due to its use of a darker brick and the design of the main elevation.

Ian Doull, Dockyard, CFB Esquimalt (82 Buildings), Esquimalt, British Columbia. Federal
Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 89-202.

Building D70 (Dockyard Main Office), CFB Esquimalt, Esquimalt, British Columbia. Heritage Character Statement 89-202.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of Building D70 should be respected, for example:

Its classically inspired design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as manifested in:

-the form, massing and balanced, symmetrical composition of this two-storey, flat-roofed brick structure that
features a prominent central entrance bay;
-the strong vertical emphasis of the exterior elevations created by the brick pilasters which divide the main
elevation into five bays; balanced by,
-the three-stage horizontal organization of the building's elevations created by the raised concrete foundation,
a continuous stone belt course that caps the pilasters and the second-storey windows, and a matching
parapet cap stone;
-the regular, symmetrical arrangement of the double-hung windows
-the use of contrasting buff-coloured stone for the continuous belt course, windows sills and lintels, main
entrance door surround, date stone and parapet cap stones;
-the use of checkerboard brick panels between the first and second-storey windows;
-the use of darker brick and terra cotta to distinguish the building from earlier Royal Navy buildings on the
site; and,
-the axial layout of the interior circulation spaces such as the central stairway and the double-loaded corridors.

The manner in which the building reinforces the military character of the setting as evidenced in:

-its scale and its complimentary building materials; and,
-its visual prominence owing to the design of the main elevation, the use of a darker brick and its location on a
site that is setback from the road and is characterized by formal landscape elements.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Military Office


Architect / Designer




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




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Aerial view

Esquimalt Naval Sites National Historic Site of Canada

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