Description of Historic Place
Situated on a lot in the downtown core, the Armoury in Niagara Falls is surrounded by lawn, with flat, open grounds to the rear. The stone and brick faced structure is distinguished by a tower, a central arched troop door and flat-headed windows. The crenellated, brick parapet is finished with stone trim while the base of the building is of rusticated stone. The building contains a large drill hall. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Armoury is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Armoury is very closely associated with the reform and expansion of the Active Volunteer Militia, during Frederick Borden’s tenure as Minister of Militia and Defence, from 1886 to 1911. The reforms transformed the militia from a citizen militia into an efficient fighting unit prepared for action when the First World War broke out. During this conflict the Armoury was used as both a training and recruitment centre. It is currently associated with the 10th Field Battery.
The Armoury is valued for its good aesthetic design. It is a compact design based on the standard American armoury, intended for the use of only a few units. Very good functional design is evidenced in the unobstructed drill hall on the upper floor, a space that is spanned by steel Fink trusses. This space doubles as an assembly / lecture hall. The masonry, and particularly its crenellated parapets exhibit very good craftsmanship and materials
The Armoury is compatible with the present downtown character of the setting and is a familiar local landmark.
Jacqueline Adell, Armoury, 1049 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-158; Armoury, 1049 Victoria Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 90-158.
The character-defining elements of the Armoury should be respected.
Its good aesthetic, influenced by medieval military construction, very good functional design, and very good quality materials, for example:
-the building’s two-storey massing, symmetry, scale and proportions;
-the main façade’s towered frontispiece, the arched main entrance flanked by projecting corner bays, the offsets in the wall planes;
-the use of decorative elements that include crenellated parapets, pilasters, flat-headed windows and stone coping;
-the open drill hall on the upper floor, a space expanded through the use of steel Fink trusses;
-the functional, internal arrangement that includes a drill hall, smaller subsidiary rooms on two floors and a shooting gallery in the basement.
The manner in which the Armoury in Niagra Falls is compatible with the present character of its downtown setting and is a conspicuous landmark in the area, as evidenced by:
-its prominent setting and distinctive profile on a downtown street in Niagara Falls;
-its scale, design and distinctive profile that contribute to the character of its streetscape setting in downtown Niagara Falls;
-the structure’s specialized military role that make it a well-known community landmark.