Description of Historic Place
The Potting Shed, also known as Building 77, is located within the core area of the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) National Historic Site of Canada in Ottawa. The building is of small scale and is clad in board and batten siding. Topped by a cross-gable roof, the building’s other decorative features include, shingled and flared walls on the second storey, prominent half-timbering on the gable ends and casement windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Potting Shed is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Potting Shed is associated with the Department of Agriculture and the Central Experimental Farm’s role in promoting agricultural reform in the 19th century. It also illustrates the model farm role originally assumed by the CEF. Relocated within the core area of the farm, it is associated with the changing role of the CEF and the Department of Agriculture’s decision to create a distinctive cultural landscape with an architectural theme among the early farm buildings.
The Potting Shed is valued for its good aesthetic design. Its scale, proportions, domestic form and decorative treatment conformed to late 19th-century ideas about the design of country estates, popularized in pattern books and agricultural publications. A good functional design, the building was built as a stable for the CEF director but also served as a model stable for Ontario farmers. Its very good materials and craftsmanship are evidenced in the decorative treatment that was borrowed directly from the Director’s Residence, one of Canada’s grandest Queen Anne Revival style homes, and includes the board and batten siding, shingled and flared walls on the second storey, prominent half-timbered gables and casement windows.
The Potting Shed reinforces the picturesque character of its setting at the experimental farm. The building is familiar to visitors and employees of the farm.
Sources: Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, NOTES/ SCR 97-035; Building #77, (Potting Shed), Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 97-035.
The following character-defining elements of the Potting Shed should be respected.
Its good aesthetic design, good functional design and very good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the scale, proportions and form;
- the vertical board-and-batten siding and half-timbering on the gable ends;
- the shingled flared apron on the second floor;
- the cross-gable, cedar shingled roof;
- the casement windows;
- the interior application of vertical tongue-and-groove boarding, and the projecting gable which covers the hayloft doors at the attic storey.
The manner in which the Potting Shed reinforces the picturesque character of its landscaped setting at the farm and is a familiar building, as evidenced by:
- the picturesque aspects of its design and materials, which contribute to its landscaped surroundings at the Central Experimental Farm
- its importance as part of a group of buildings located within the core area of the farm, making it a familiar building to visitors and employees.