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Windsor Armouries

353, Freedom Way, City of Windsor, Ontario, N9A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/11/27

An octagonal, castellated turret and impressive stone entrance highlight the north facade.; City of Windsor, Planning Department
Windsor Armouries, from north
The striking Richardson Romanesque architecture is typical of most early 20th century armouries.; City of Windsor files
Windsor Armouries Postcard, circa 1902
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Other Name(s)

The Major F.A. Tilston Armoury
Windsor Armouries
The Major F.A. Tilston VC Armoury

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1900/01/01 to 1902/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/07/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Windsor Armouries is a two-storey, red brick Richardson Romanesque structure located on Freedom Way in downtown Windsor. With a three-storey tower, it typifies the design of Canadian armouries in the early 1900s and is the only armoury in Essex County.

This downtown Windsor landmark is recognized for its heritage value by City of Windsor Bylaw 337-1999.

Heritage Value

The Windsor Armouries is a place of pride for the people of Windsor and Essex County. Traditionally, as the only armoury in Essex County, more than 100 years of military and civic functions have been hosted at this location. Constructed from 1900 to 1902, it was built to replace the collection of wooden barracks near City Hall Square and as the new home of the Twenty-first Regiment of Essex County (Fusiliers). Later the renowned Essex Scottish Regiment and subsequently the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment called the Armouries home. It has also housed the Windsor Regiment (Canadian Armored Corps), Army Cadet Corps 1086 and the Windsor District Military Band. In 1994, the building was officially renamed The Major F.A. Tilston VC Armoury. When the regiment moved to a new facility in 2004, the property reverted to City of Windsor ownership.

A downtown landmark since 1902, the Windsor Armouries is an excellent example of an early 20th-century armoury in the popular Richardson Romanesque style. Of red brick with a cut stone foundation and trim, the original structure was designed by architect David Ewart of the Federal Department of Public Works. In 1935, a complementary two-storey addition, designed by Sheppard, Masson and Trace, was added to the south side. The building's impressive design exudes the power associated with 'military might' as displayed by the well-preserved octagonal castellated turret at the northeast corner, the impressive stone entrances on the west and north sides and the mighty oak doors flanked by arched two-storey windows.

Sources: City of Windsor Bylaw 337-1999; Building Analysis Form, November 27, 1998; and City of Windsor Heritage Planner's files.

Character-Defining Elements

Key character defining elements that express the heritage value include the:
- striking two-storey Richardson Romanesque design
- red brick construction with cut stone foundation and trim
- octagonal castellated turret at the northeast corner
- large stone entrances on the west side and north sides
- west oak door flanked by sets of five, two-storey arched windows (this was the original front entrance to the Armouries, opening onto a parade ground on Ouellette)
- north oak door flanked by arched two-storey windows and a large arched window over the door
- bank of four identical arched windows on the second floor of the south side
- arched half-window on the gable end
- roof of galvanized shingles with tar and gravel
- 12 pairs of windows on the second storey and 11 windows and a small arched door on the first floor on the east elevation
- downtown location on a busy street (University Avenue near Ouellette)
- impressive massing




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1902/01/01 to 2004/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type



Armoury or Drill Hall

Architect / Designer

David Ewart



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Office of Heritage Planner, City of Windsor

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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