Links and documents
1840/01/01 to 1841/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
No. 2 Engine House is a two-storey stone structure constructed in 1840-41 in the Neo-classical style. Located on Sydney Street in Saint John, it includes the front and oldest portion of the building, measuring approximately 25 feet wide by a depth of 50 feet from the building’s Sydney Street façade.
No. 2 Engine House is designated a Provincial Historic Site for its architecture and for its association with the architect, John Cunningham.
No. 2 Engine House is recognized for being the earliest known Canadian example of a fire hall designed to house a volunteer brigade using manually drawn and operated pumper fire engines. No. 2 Engine House was first occupied in 1841 and closed as a station in 1949. After its closure, the building was used by different organizations until opening as The Saint John Firefighters Museum in 1991. This museum houses a collection of artefacts related to the history of firefighting in Saint John.
Heritage value is also attributed to No. 2 Engine House as it is the work of well-known local architect John Cunningham. This building is a rare and unique surviving example of the first phase in fire hall design and in the development of municipal fire fighting in Canada. Its refined Neo-classical façade is typical of this style often used in governmental buildings during the mid-18th century. John Cunningham also designed the adjacent Court House.
Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site File: Vol.VI-60
The character defining elements that describe No. 2 Engine House include:
- location of the building at the city’s centre facing King Square, with its frontal orientation to the street, creating a highly visible civic presence;
- Neoclassical style of the small-scaled building, distinguished on the exterior by its symmetrical and ordered structure of two bays with a pair of large ground floor door openings accommodating the fire engines, typical low pitched gable roof and a triangular pediment with a semicircular fanlight window at the centre;
- exterior stone walls of smooth coursed ashlars on the front façade, with recessed joints at the ground floor, simply-carved stone trim surrounds the second floor and attic windows, while gracefully carved stone trim delineates the upper pediment, rear and side walls built of red brick;
- date “1840” carved below the attic pediment window;
- interior plan, although somewhat altered from the original, consisting of a large double bay at the ground floor, with a staircase leading to the upstairs meeting hall and offices;
- collection of artefacts relating to Saint John's firefighting history, including: 1852 hand pump truck used in the Great Saint John Fire of 1877, an electronic telegraph notification system, Station number 2’s circa 1863 Fire Union sign, a brass pole from a demolished Saint John station, ladders, buckets, hoses and a number of prints, photographs and artefacts from the Great fire of 1877.
Province of New Brunswick
Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(2)
Historic Sites Protection Act – Protected
1991/01/01 to 1991/01/01
1841/01/01 to 1949/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Governing Canada
- Security and Law
Function - Category and Type
- Fire Station
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site Files
Cross-Reference to Collection