Administration Building /Cell Block (C-18, C-16)
Administration and Main Cellblock Building, Former Prison for Women
Bâtiment de l'administration et du bloc cellulaire principal, Ancienne prison des femmes
Links and documents
1924/01/01 to 1934/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Administration Building/Cellblock Cellblock (C-18, C-16) of the former Prison for Women faces Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard across the street from the Kingston Penitentiary. The Edwardian Classical building consists of a three-storey administration block with an attached, two-storey wing on an elevated basement. Both sections are faced with stone and are capped by copper covered hipped roofs. The Administration Building/ Cellblock (C-18, C-16) features a central entrance pavilion with a Palladian window and is crowned by a robust cupola. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Administration Building/ Cellblock (C-18, C-16) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Administration Building/ Cellblock (C-18, C-16) is one of the best buildings to illustrate the theme of women in the federal criminal justice system. The complex is representative of the first self-contained institutions to house women prisoners outside Kingston Penitentiary. In 1994, disturbances at the facility led to the creation of a commission of inquiry whose recommendation have had a profound impact on the Canadian penal system. The building is also directly associated with the appointment of the first female warden in Canada, as well as the increase of women in important roles in correctional services.
The Administration Building/ Cellblock (C-18, C-16) is a good example of Edwardian Classicism. The building’s very good functional design represents a different approach to the accommodation of female inmate services and living accommodations in the same building. The structure also demonstrates a high-level of masonry material and craftsmanship.
The Administration Building/ Cellblock (C-18, C-16) reinforces the institutional character of its penitentiary setting, and it is a familiar landmark within the City of Kingston.
Dana Johnson, Three buildings at the former Prison for Women, Kingston, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 01-041; Administration Building/Cellblock, Kingston, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 01-041.
The character-defining elements of the Administration Building/ Cellblock (C-18, C-16) should be respected.
Its role as an illustration of women in the federal criminal justice system in Canada is reflected in:
-the building’s design, which accommodated female inmate services and living quarters and continues to represent the first self-contained institution to house women prisoners in Canada.
Its good Edwardian Classical style, very good functional design and very good
materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the three storey massing composed of a rectangular structure with an attached 15 bay long two-storey wing on an elevated basement;
-the copper covered hipped roofs;
-the characteristics and detailing typical of the Edwardian Classical style such as the central entrance pavilion with a Palladian window crowned by a robust cupola;
-the poured concrete construction faced with stone;
-the masonry features, such as the columns, pediment, and entablature, as well as the good quality sheet metal work on the cupola roof and finial;
-the interior layout, which consists of programming and support spaces on the lower levels and cellblocks, based on the traditional internal cellular arrangement on the upper levels.
The manner in which the Administration Building/ Cellblock (C-18, C-16) reinforces the institutional character of its penitentiary setting and is a familiar landmark within the City of Kingston, as evidenced by:
-its Edwardian Classical design and proximity to the Kingston penitentiary which reinforces its institutional role in its setting;
-its visual and physical relationship with the penitentiary, which makes it a familiar landmark in Kingston.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Office or office building
- Correctional Facility
Architect / Designer
Architectural staff of the Department of Justice
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection