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Forest Insect Laboratory

875 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2002/02/25

Looking south-west from Queen Street East; City of Sault Ste. Marie
Forest Insect Laboratory
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1944/01/01 to 1958/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/06/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Built in 1944, the streamlined, single-storey, yellow brick Forest Insect Laboratory is located on the south side of Queen Street in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, north of the Ontario Provincial Air Service Hangars.

The Forest Insect Laboratory has been recognized for its heritage value by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, By-law 2002-38.

Heritage Value

The Forest Insect Laboratory is of heritage value because of its association with important government research activities between 1945 and 1966 and is one of the few remaining examples of Art Moderne architecture in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Forest Insect Laboratory was established to produce research on the control of forest insects and diseases. It was the result of a joint research agreement between the federal Department of Agriculture and the Ontario Department of Lands and Forest between 1945 and 1966. Under this agreement, Ontario built and maintained the laboratory and the federal government provided staff and equipment. The laboratory in Sault Ste. Marie pioneered research into eradicating destructive forest insects such as the Spruce Bud Worm. An insect identification centre was also established at the laboratory. This centre was the first of its kind in Canada and earned an international reputation for its work.

The Forest Insect Laboratory was built in 1944 to the design of Toronto architect Ernest Davidson and is one of the few remaining examples of Art Moderne architecture in Sault Ste. Marie, a style popular during the 1930’s and 1940’s. An addition, consistent with Davidson's design, was added in 1958.

Sources: Sault Ste. Marie Designation By-law 2003-38, Forest Insect Laboratory Designation Report.

Character-Defining Elements

Key character defining elements that reflect the buildings value as an example of Art Moderne architecture include:
-the overall streamlined effect, achieved through the use of rounded corners
-the flat roof and the continuous horizontal elements, such as the copper facia above the windows and the stone sill course
-the repetition of the horizontal banded features on all elevations, including those of the 1958 addition
-the asymmetrical arrangement of bays accommodating the main entranceway
-the asymmetrical arrangement of a series of large windows divided either by round columnar pilasters of limestone or by brick panels

Key character defining elements that reflect the buildings use by the Provincial Government include:
-the Ontario Coat of Arms, carved in Indiana limestone, which is located above the facia and entranceway set into the brickwork




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life

Function - Category and Type



Health and Research
Research Facility

Architect / Designer

Ernest Davidson



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Community Services Department, Recreation and Culture Division, City of Sault Ste. Marie

Cross-Reference to Collection

Sault Ste. Marie Museum; Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Archives

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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