Description of Historic Place
Located at the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) National Historic Site of Canada in Ottawa, the Cereal Barn, also known as Building 76, is the principal processing workshop and research laboratory for the Cereal Division. Reflecting the influence of the “Shingle” style, the exterior walls of this picturesque building are finished with board and batten siding at ground level and with wood shingles above. Other picturesque touches include a prominent roofline, and a number of carefully grouped and proportioned windows. The Cereal Barn is a landmark building on the CEF. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Cereal Barn is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Cereal Barn is closely associated with Canada’s experimental farm system and its role in agricultural research and education. The Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa made an important contribution to Canadian history with the development of Marquis wheat in 1903. The Cereal Barn is associated with subsequent cereals research, of which the most famous is the search for resistant varieties of wheat after the rust outbreak of 1916. The building housed cereals research at the Farm until 1970. Its original plan was a clear expression of the dual responsibilities of the CEF as a demonstration farm and as a scientific establishment.
Although atypical of agricultural design in Canada, the Cereal Barn conforms to the established architectural pattern at the CEF. Motifs such as the board and batten siding with shingles above, and the slightly flared overhang of the wall between the first and second storeys are decorative elements that also appear on other buildings at the Farm.
The Cereal Barn maintains an unchanged relationship to its site and reinforces the agricultural character of its experimental farm setting. The building is familiar within the immediate area.
Sources: Janet Wright, Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site, Ottawa, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 84-004; Cereal Building #76, CEF, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 84-004.
The following character-defining elements of the Cereal Barn should be respected.
Its good aesthetic and functional design and good materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- its two-and-a half storey massing with a partially exposed basement on the south façade;
- its gabled hip roof, punctuated by two long hip dormers;
- the exterior walls clad in board and batten siding at the ground level and in wood shingles above;
- the foundation walls of concrete;
- the small-paned windows and doors, which are grouped and proportioned with regularity;
- the ornamental quality of the building manifested in its texture and colour;
- its functional interior design divided between a true granary and office, workshop and storage space.
The manner in which the Cereal Barn maintains an unchanged relationship to its site, reinforces the agricultural character of its experimental farm setting and is a neighbourhood landmark, as evidenced by:
- its ongoing relationship to its carefully manicured grounds, as well as the circulation patterns immediately adjacent to the building, which reflect its interior functions and its use during the hey-day of cereals research;
- its overall design, board and batten siding and prominent roofline, which are consistent with CEF buildings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- its importance as part of a group of research and science buildings located at the farm, which makes it a familiar building to visitors and employees.