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Rideau Hall, Gasometer

1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/02/19

Front view of the building, 1986; Parks Canada | Parcs Canada, 1986.
Front view
No Image
No Image

Other Name(s)

Rideau Hall, Gasometer
Gasometer / Dome Building
Gazomètre / bâtiment à coupole

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1877/01/01 to 1878/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Rideau Hall: Gasometer is located in the grounds of Rideau Hall, the home of the Governor General, in Ottawa. The cylindrical, stucco-covered brick structure is supported on stone foundation walls and topped by a conical roof with a ventilator/lantern and finial. Multi-paned windows are set between the brick pilasters that encircle the elegant structure. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Rideau Hall: Gasometer is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Rideau Hall: Gasometer is historically significant for its role as an ancillary building at the Rideau Hall Complex. Typical of the shifting pattern of use of many Rideau Hall structures, the Gasometer, which was used as a source of power for several years, was converted in 1912 for use as the laundry. Now known as the Dome Building, the RCMP presently uses the Gasometer.

Architectural Value
The Rideau Hall: Gasometer is valued for its visual qualities as a surviving example of an unusual building type, and because of its functional qualities in the context of engineering history. The building demonstrates a very good aesthetic design, which has a simple elegance belying its utilitarian purpose. It is characterized by its surviving exterior materials and form which provide a successful transition between its utilitarian functions of the last quarter of the nineteenth century and its place in the cultural landscape which is today’s Rideau Hall. Built to contain the gasometer tank, the building’s specialized functional design was necessary to keep the guides and pulleys protected, and to prevent the freezing of water in the holder pit that formed a seal to prevent loss of gas, while allowing the tank to rise and fall. It is noteworthy as an architecturally fine example of this type of engineering work, once found throughout the northeast United States and eastern Canada, few of which survive.

Environmental Value
The Rideau Hall: Gasometer maintains an unchanged relationship to its site at Rideau Hall and is compatible with the picturesque character of its vice-regal estate setting.

Robert Hunter, Rideau Hall Outbuildings and Grounds, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 86-024; Gasometer (Dome Building), Rideau Hall Complex, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 86-024.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Rideau Hall: Gasometer should be respected.

Its very good aesthetic and functional design and good materials and craftsmanship, forexample:
-the massing which consists of a cylindrical structure topped by a conical roof with a ventilator/ lantern and finial;
-the brick superstructure supported by pilasters and covered in stucco on stone foundation walls;
-the arrangement of various types of multi-paned windows that enhance the building.

The manner in which the Rideau Hall: Gasometer maintains an unchanged relationship to its site at Rideau Hall and is compatible with the picturesque character of its vice-regal estate setting, as evidenced by:
-the ongoing picturesque relationship between the building and the distinguished landscape at Rideau Hall;
-the building’s compatible scale and design which repeats the octagonal and circular forms found elsewhere in the ancillary structures and landscape features at the Rideau Hall Complex.




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)

1912/01/01 to 1912/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type




Architect / Designer

J.W.H. Watts of the Chief Architect’s Branch at the Department of Public Works



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate, Documentation Centre, 3rd Floor, Room 366, 30 Victoria St, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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