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Queen Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/02/21

Exterior photo; CPS, ORO, 1989.
Exterior photo
Exterior photo; CPS, ORO, 1989.
Exterior photo
No Image

Other Name(s)

Hangar de matérial d'artillerie

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/07/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Gunshed, situated at the Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site on the outskirts of Niagara-on-the-Lake, stands amongst park-like lawns and trees. The long, rectangular one-storey structure has a hipped roof and a white-painted clapboard exterior. The façade features seven, regularly placed, double loading doors. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

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

Historical Value:
The Gunshed is one of the best examples of a structure associated with defence and economic development of the Niagara-on-the-Lake region during the early 19th century. It is also associated with the evolution of the militia and the regular Canadian army. The British established Butler’s Barracks complex after the War of 1812-1814, to house and train troops for the defence of Upper Canada. The Gunshed was designed to store British ordnance and later used for general storage. One of five structures at Butler’s Barracks, it was designated a National Historic Site by the federal government in 1951.

Architectural Value:
Valued for its very good aesthetic design, the Gunshed 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.

Environmental Value:
The Gunshed 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.

Gunshed, Butler’s Barracks, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 89-016.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Gunshed should be respected, for example:

Its very good aesthetics, very good functional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:

-The simple, one-storey balanced massing;
-The low-pitched hip roof;
-The timber construction of wood framing clad in clapboard and shingles on a stone foundation;
-The arrangement of the seven double doors.

The manner in which the Gunshed 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 Commissariat Stores, 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.




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)

1812/01/01 to 1814/01/01
1951/01/01 to 1951/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Military Defence Installation

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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