Description of Historic Place
The Store House is located close to the water’s edge on the Rideau Canal at Hartwells Lockstation, part of the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada. The Store House is a gable-roofed and clapboard-clad building with an L-shaped plan. The end-gables feature windows at both levels. A centrally placed doorway is flanked by windows. There are doorways at both the northeast and southwest corners. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Store House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Store House is closely associated with the construction and operation of the Rideau Canal and Canada’s military defence strategy in the second quarter of the 19th century, and the subsequent evolution and transformation of the waterway as a federal public work, and particularly with the later phases of waterway operation from the beginning of the 20th century. The Store House was built in conjunction with redevelopment of a timber pond and lay-by, used for winter storage of a floating plant for lock construction on the canal. The Store House was built to replace a 1910 structure of similar form at the same location that had been destroyed by fire in 1936. It is the last of the early 20th-century constructions at the lockstation complex.
The Store House is valued for its good aesthetic design. Its value lies in its evocation of a simple, domestic form. It is an elaborated variation of the storey-and-a-half, clapboard-clad, frame lockstation structures built alongside the Rideau waterway in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is similar in exterior aspect and plan to the farmhouses of the middle to late 19th century in the region, with an L-shaped plan, side-facing gabled walls with windows at both floor levels, and a gabled rear extension. These were elements seen in the simple, defensible lockmaster’s houses built along the Rideau Canal in the mid-19th century by the Royal Engineers. Good functional design is evidenced in the interior layout. Good craftsmanship is evident in the quality of construction.
The Store House reinforces the historic character of Hartwells Lockstation and is a familiar local landmark.
Sources: Marilyn E. Armstrong-Reynolds, Eleven Buildings, Northern Area, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report 91-131 to 91-134 and 91-175; The Storehouse, Hartwell’s Lockstation, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 91-133.
The following character-defining elements of the Store House should be respected.
Its role as an illustration of the transformation of the Rideau Canal from a defensive work into a public waterway system, as reflected in:
- its continuing functional role in lockstation operation in the later periods of Rideau Canal operation, including support for repair functions at other locks;
- its replication of an earlier form from the beginning of the 20th century;
- its material evocation of the local rural past of the region.
Its incorporation of workplace functions over a long period in a traditional residential form and style as manifested in:
- its clapboard-clad, gable-roofed domestic exterior form typical both of structures throughout the Rideau system and of rural housing in the wider region;
- the symmetries and materials of its principal elevations;
- its relation to an architectural type found at other locations along the Rideau Canal.
The manner in which it reinforces the waterside and the partly rural character of the setting, as evidenced in:
- its location and visual contribution to the coherent appearance of the building and landscape setting;
- its attractive, publicly accessible, and working landscape at the water’s edge;
- its role as a long-standing visual landmark, in its present form from the beginning of the 20th century.