York Factory Depot
Dépôt de York Factory
Links and documents
1832/01/01 to 1838/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Sitting on the high bank of the Hayes River, the Depot at the York Factory National Historic Site of Canada is a large, wooden, simple structure composed of a rectangular, three-storey, steep hip-roofed block with a conically-roofed cupola at the centre of the front façade, flanked at both sides by symmetrical two-storey, low hip-roofed sections, which continue in three similar wings regularly organized around a central courtyard. There are little to no decorative details on the white and green trim building with only symmetrically placed large square windows around the entire structure. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Depot is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.
The Depot is one of the best examples and played a major role in the operations of the Canadian Fur Trade. From the 1820’s to the 1850’s York Factory was the major transshipment link between Britain and Hudson’s Bay facilities in North America. This building was its administrative, manufacturing and warehousing core, acting as the major storage facility for all goods entering and leaving Bay posts in North America. The construction of the Depot as the central facility in the York Factory fort complex is one of the best examples illustrating the growth and development of the Canadian North and is the largest warehouse built in North America by the Hudson’s Bay Company prior to 1870.
The Depot is an excellent and important example of the architecture of the Hudson’s Bay Company. In design, materials and compositions it reflects a long tradition of Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade construction. The technology used in its construction is an important benchmark in the adaptation of building methods to the North American climate. The building is characterized by the classical regularity of its massing, form, proportions and fenestration.
The Depot establishes the present character as the central building in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur trade post at York Factory in its striking isolated setting located on the high bank of the Hayes River. Although there are few structures existing on site, the Depot and the ruins of other structures provides clear contextual evidence of the role of this settlement in the midst of the wilderness. As a National Historic Site and a major destination for many yearly visitors, York Factory and the Depot serve as a rare manmade landmark.
Robert Hunter, Depot, York Factory, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 88-072; Depot, York Factory, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement 88-072.
The character defining elements of the Depot should be respected.
Its excellent British Classical Tradition inspired simple, utilitarian design, composition, materials and new building methods adapted for North American climate as manifested in:
-its large scale and classical regularity of its massing, form, proportions and fenestration;
-its simple rectilinear design and rectangular plan organized around a central courtyard;
-its new technology of a system of shallow wooden foundations and rafter and beam supports;
-its steep hip-roofed block with cupola flanked by symmetrical low hip roofed structures;
-its symmetrically placed square-headed windows and doors.
The manner in which the Depot establishes the present character of Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur trade post at York Factory in its striking isolated setting located on the high bank of the Hayes River.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Trading Post
Architect / Designer
Hudson’s Bay Company
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection