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Ann Baillie Building National Historic Site of Canada

Kingston, Ontario, K7L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/11/23

Ann Baillie Building National Historic Site of Canada; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada, HRS, 2000
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1903/01/01 to 1904/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Ann Baillie Building is a two-storey, limestone institutional building with a cruciform footprint and a monumental, classically-inspired, portico. Built as a nurses’ residence in 1903, it is part of the Kingston General Hospital complex, located close to the shoreline of Lake Ontario, in the city of Kingston. The formal recognition is confined to the building itself on its footprint.

Heritage Value

The Ann Baillie Building was designated a national historic site in 1997 because it commemorates the contribution of nurses and nursing to scientific medicine and to women’s agency as health care professionals and because it speaks to the training and professionalism of nurses, to their social life, to the development of their unique culture, and to the emergence of leaders in the field of nursing.

The heritage value of this site lies in its associations with the professionalization of nursing as pursued by women in the early 20th-century and in the physical qualities of the building that illustrate its use by student nurses. Built in 1903 as the nurses’ residence for the Kingston General Hospital School of Nursing, the Ann Baillie Building was one of the first purpose-built nurses’ residences in Canada.

Hospital-based apprenticeship schools provided training to student nurses, who in turn worked at the hospital. Nurses’ residences were required to house these student workers in a safe and chaperoned environment. The Ann Baillie Building’s classically-inspired architecture is typical of early nurses’ residences, whose impressive architecture and secure living arrangements were intended to attract respectable, middle-class girls to the profession. Although it no longer serves as a residence, many vestiges of its use as a nurses’ residence remain. It now houses the Museum of Health Care. It is also designated as part of the Kingston General Hospital National Historic Site.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minute, November 1997.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which relate to the heritage value of the Ann Baillie Building as an early purpose-built nurses’ residence include:
- its setting, close to the pre-1920 hospital buildings;
- its classically inspired design, detailing, and stone construction in keeping with other buildings within the early Kingston General Hospital complex;
- its relatively large size and evidence of the original symmetrical, cross-axial layout which accommodated the three aspects of the nursing program (home, leisure, instruction) within one discrete structure, such as the central entry and symmetrically organized fenestration reflecting the original cross-axial plan and location of nurses’ rooms;
- surviving original finishes and fixtures in public spaces such as the former sitting room, including moulded wood trim, picture rails, cast iron radiators, original doors and hardware, the wood mantel and tile fire opening.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type




Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Canadian Inventory of Historic Building Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 525, 25 Eddy Street, Hull, Quebec.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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