Description of Historic Place
The Commissariat Storehouse, situated at Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site on the outskirts of Niagara-on-the-Lake, stands amongst park-like lawns and trees. It is a two-and-a-half-storey, rectangular structure with a gable roof. The wood frame building has a white-painted clapboard exterior with regularly placed entrances, loading doors and windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Commissariat Storehouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Commissariat Storehouse is one of the best examples of a structure associated with the ongoing development and defence of the Niagara region during the 19th century. The storehouse is also associated with the evolution of the Canadian army and the economic development of Niagara-on-the-Lake as a tourist destination in the 20th century. Butler’s Barracks complex was established by the British, after the War of 1812-1814, to barrack troops used in the defence of Canada. The Department of National Defence continued to use the facility until 1965. The building is one of five structures at Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site, which was established by the federal government in 1951.
Valued for its very good aesthetic design, the Commissariat Storehouse is a rare surviving example of an early 19th-century wooden warehouse designed by the Royal Engineers. Balanced massing, regularly placed windows and a low-pitched roof speak to its Georgian stylistic influence. Very good functionally driven design is evidenced in the placement of door and window openings, which express the structure’s utilitarian function. Typical of Royal Engineer designs, local materials were employed in construction. Good craftsmanship is evidenced in the wood framing and the stone foundation.
The Commissariat Storehouse reinforces the historic character of Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site and is a familiar landmark to residents and to visitors.
Shannon Ricketts, Twenty Buildings, Niagara Historic Sites, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 89-016.
Commissariat Storehouse, Butler’s Barracks, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 89-016.
The character-defining elements of the Commissariat Storehouse should be respected, for example:
Its very good aesthetics, very good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-The simple, two-and-a-half-storey balanced massing.
-The low-pitched gable roof with hoist/pulley projection.
-The timber construction of wood framing clad in clapboard and wood shingles on a stone foundation.
-The regular, function driven placement of the doors and windows with shutters.
-The northeast end of the structure that is fitted as a Commissariat Office with three fireplaces on one chimney, and the plastered interior walls.
The manner in which the Commissariat Storehouse reinforces the historic character of the National Historic Site and is a well-known regional landmark, as evidenced by:
-Its simple design and materials that harmonize with the adjacent Gunshed, the nearby Officer’s Quarters, and other historic buildings within the military setting.
-Its role as an important component of the group of surviving structures from the Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site complex that makes it familiar to locals and visitors.