Description of Historic Place
The Blacksmith’s Shop is located on the Rideau Canal near the turning basin and detached lock at Jones Falls Lockstation. Built of rough-faced masonry blocks, it is a compact, functional structure with a hipped-roof. A single door and one window are located in the front elevation, and a second window is set in the rear. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Blacksmith’s Shop is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Blacksmith’s Shop is a very good example of a building associated with the Rideau Canal and its maintenance, and as such, it played an important role in the transportation of military traffic on the canal during the 19th century as part of the military defence strategy for Canada. Since it was necessary that repairs to lock gates, their hardware and chamber equipment be carried out quickly, the blacksmithing facilities were intended to keep the canal in a state of military preparedness. Jones Falls became a regional repair depot for the canal.
The Blacksmith’s Shop is valued for its very good aesthetic design. With its simple cube-like massing the building is an unusual and well-preserved example of its type. In contrast to many blacksmiths shops of the period, the Jones Falls building was designed as a substantial, permanent and highly functional structure. Excellent functional design is evidenced in the limited number of windows that reduced light levels, enabling the blacksmith to see the colour of the hot metal. The functional open plan, with the forge located near the centre of the room and workbenches along the walls, also provided maximum working space. It has also allowed the adaptation of the interior into an interpretive centre. The stone masonry walls and tin cladding of the roof provide superior protection against fire, while the floor is constructed of logs adzed flat and laid on a sand base. Very good craftsmanship can be seen in the handling of the stonework.
The Blacksmith’s Shop maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the historic character of Jones Falls Lockstation and is a familiar landmark to residents and to visitors.
Sources: James de Jonge, Fifteen Buildings, Southern Area, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report 89-156; Blacksmith’s Shop, Jones Falls Lockstation, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 89-156.
The following character-defining elements of the Blacksmith’s Shop should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic, excellent functional design and very good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the simple compact, one-storey massing;
-the hipped roof, clad in tin, and the chimney;
-the exterior walls, constructed of rough-faced masonry blocks, the limited number of windows and the door;
-the open plan configuration of the interior with a floor constructed of logs adzed flat and laid on a sand base;
-the brick forge, located near the centre of the room, close to the back wall, and the workbenches along the walls.
The manner in which the Blacksmith’s Shop maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the historic character of the Jones Falls Lockstation and is a familiar landmark, as evidenced by:
-its ongoing relationship to its detached position on a flat, grassed area;
-its simple design and stone masonry walls that complement the turning basin and detached lock;
-its role as an active interpretation centre component, within the group of structures comprising the lockstation complex, that makes it familiar to local residents and visitors.