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Armour Heights College

215 Yonge Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/05/02

Officers' Mess and Quarters, Canadian Forces College, Toronto; erected 1914.; (Department of National Defence, circa 1990.)
front view
Side elevation of officers' Mess and Quarters facing formal garden.; (DND, ca. 1990.)
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Other Name(s)

Armour Heights College
Armour Heights College
Collège d'Armour Heights
Officer's Mess and Quarters
Quartiers et mess des officiers
Officer's Mess & Quarters, Building 1
Quartiers / mess des officiers, bâtiment 1

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/06/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Officer’s Mess and Quarters sits prominently as the centerpiece of the Armour Heights College Campus. It was constructed as a grand home within a formal garden. Designed in the Tudor Revival style, the picturesque building features cross gables, mock half-timbering, Tudor arches, leaded casement windows and walls of stone, stucco and clay tile. It also features a Spanish tile roof, dormers, composite chimney pots and terraces. The building’s horizontal massing, projecting gables and its porte-cochère, evoke English vernacular architectural traditions. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Officer’s Mess and Quarters is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Officer’s Mess and Quarters is directly associated with Canada’s military history, in particular the theme of the professionalization of the Canadian Armed Forces. It was leased to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1943 as a military training school. The site has been associated with the Air Force since 1918 when part of the estate was used as an airfield. The building was originally constructed in 1914 as the main house on a suburban estate belonging to Colonel F.B. Robins.

Architectural Value
The Officer’s Mess and Quarters is valued for its very good aesthetic qualities and is an outstanding example of grand residential architecture designed at the turn of the century. The building’s very good functional design is evidenced in its interior layout, which accommodates major rooms and public spaces. Excellent craftsmanship and materials are demonstrated in its interior detailing which follows a Jacobean motif that is rich in dark stained mahogany panelling, ribbed and beamed ceilings, decorative plaster, cornices, and wooden wainscoting. The building is a noteworthy example of the work of the architectural firm of George and Moorhouse.

Environmental Value
The Officer’s Mess and Quarters is the centerpiece at the Armour Heights College campus and reinforces the residential character of its picturesque campus setting. It is a well-known landmark in the city.

Shannon Ricketts, Officer’s Mess and Quarters (Building No. 1), Armour Heights, Canadian Forces College, Toronto, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 90-070. Officer’s Mess and Quarters (Building No. 1), Armour Heights College, Toronto, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 90-070.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Officer’s Mess and Quarter’s should be respected.

Its very good Tudor Revival style design, very good functional design and excellent quality craftsmanship and materials, for example:

-The two-storey massing, which consists of a long, flat-roofed structure with a single- storey annex at the back.
-The principle façade, which is composed of a seven bay center section, that is clad in brick, flanked on either side by two projecting entrance pavilions clad in cut stone.
-The half-timbering, gables and chimneys.
-The simple brick and stone cladding of the side elevation.
-The detailing at the two principle entrances such as the detailing in the fluted quarter columns and stylized cornice mouldings, and in the bronze grills above each door.
-The broad, cut-stone frieze that runs across the front of the building.

The manner in which the Officer’s Mess and Quarters reinforces the residential character of its picturesque campus setting and is a familiar building in the city, as evidenced by:

-Its overall scale, design and materials, which sets the genteel tone reflected in
surrounding buildings.
-Its role as the visual and ceremonial focus of the campus.




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)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type


Military Support



Architect / Designer

George and Moorhouse



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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