Description of Historic Place
Croil Hall (Building A142) is a large, modern, square, two-storey red brick building that is composed of four flat-roofed wings grouped around an open-air inner courtyard, and features long, horizontal strips of windows. Croil Hall (Building A142) is located on a major artery in the southern services sector of CFB Borden, which consists primarily of administrative buildings, a gym, teaching facilities and barracks, and is one of the largest structures within its sector. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Croil Hall (Building A142) is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Built as a response to the increased need for large permanent training establishments required by technological advances and an increased work force, Croil Hall (Building A142) is associated with the post-World War II expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces during the Cold War. Among the earliest permanent facilities added during this period of growth, it also illustrates the third and most significant phase of the expansion of CFB Borden, Canada’s largest training base, and the period in which sector A became the base’s headquarters sector.
Croil Hall (Building A142)’s sober, modern functionalist design, influenced by the International Style, is characterized by competent craftsmanship, and the use of good quality materials. Designed by the prominent architectural firm of Morani and Morris, it is characterized by an impressive scale, strong horizontal lines, and minimal ornamentation.
Located on a large grassy lot, along a busy artery of the base, Croil Hall (Building A142) reinforces CFB Borden’s sector A as a training area through its function, large scale, and institutional character. The building’s prominence, as well as its function as a major training center, make it familiar to the base’s community.
Sources: Geneviève Charrois, Building A-142, Croil Hall, CFB Borden, Ontario. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Building Report 00-013; Building A-142, Croil Hall, Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ontario. Heritage Character Statement 00-013.
The following character-defining elements of Croil Hall (Building A142) should be respected.
Its role as an illustration of the post-World War II expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces and the need for permanent training facilities as a response to technological advances and an increased work force, is reflected in:
- the use of a straightforward functionalist layout, presenting a wide range of interior spaces, efficiently serving its original purpose and proving adaptable over time.
The building’s modern functionalist design, competent craftsmanship and quality materials, as manifested in:
- the emphasis on strong horizontal lines, expressed in the linear massing of the four flat-roofed wings, broken only by the vertical volume of a staircase block, and;
- the minimalist, abstract quality and horizontal expression of the facades, composed of long bands of regularly subdivided windows separated by brick and capped with sunshades in the upper half of the openings, and;
- the use of detailed brickwork to enhance certain features and entrances of the elevations.
The manner in which the building reinforces the character of sector A as a training area, as evidenced in:
- Croil Hall (Building A142)’s location on an open grassy lot simply delimited by a sidewalk, and its open relationship to the adjoining road, and;
- the building’s visual prominence, scale, institutional character, and presence on a major road.