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Brouse Building

181-183 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/07/25

Brouse Building Recognized Federal Heritage Building; CIHB/INHC, Parks Canada/Parcs Canada, 1985.
Brouse Building
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Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/12/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Brouse Building stands on the north side of Sparks Street in the core of the Ottawa business district. It is a striking, three-storey, red brick building with stone trim, distinguished by arched windows, sandstone columns and ornate, decorative brickwork. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

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

Historical Value:
The Brouse Building is associated with the commercial development of Sparks Street westward towards Bank Street in the late-19th century. A speculative construction by Ottawa grocer Henry Brouse, its use over the years involved changing clientele and a number of shifts in function, for example as a hotel to retail space.

Architectural Value:
The Brouse Building is a very good example of an imaginative design combining Romanesque and Italian detailing. Its three-storey construction had been a popular configuration for commercial premises during earlier decades and this is a late example. This functional structure exhibits good craftsmanship and materials.

Environmental Value:
The Brouse Building reinforces the character of Ottawa’s central business district in the commercial core and is familiar to local residents, people working in the vicinity and pedestrians.

Dana Johnson, Brouse Building, 181-183 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 85-028; Brouse Building, 181-183 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 85-028.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Brouse Building should be respected:

Its Romaneque and Italianate design elements, good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the three-storey massing of the symmetrical façade;
-the first floor featuring three Romanesque arched windows with stone imposts and sandstone columns with carved capitals;
-the brick corbelling and stone stringcourse above;
-an upper arcade of five windows decorated with unusual surrounds including sandstone columns, brick corbelling, carved capitals and hood moulds;
-the octagonal insets with sandstone centres topped by a tier of corbelling under the metal frieze and projecting cornice.

The manner in which the Brouse Building reinforces the character of the commercial centre of 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 and the Sparks Street streetscape;
-its familiarity to visitors, passing pedestrians, and local residents.




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



Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

George F. Stalker, Architect, Ottawa



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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