Recognized Federal Heritage Building
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada.
CFB Borden, Borden, Ontario
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1939 to 1939
Event, Person, Organization:
Royal Canadian Engineers
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
Building A-78, also known as Dyte Hall, sits within the Royal Canadian Air Force complex of buildings east of the sports field at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden and is surrounded on all four sides by the base’s roadway system. It is a large, rectangular, brick recreation facility with a low-pitched roof and shallow, one-storey annexes along the front and rear elevations. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Building A-78 is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
Building A-78 is directly associated with the expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces and their facilities prior to and during the Second World War, and reflects the full scale development of the base at this time.
Building A-78 is valued as a fine example of military architecture with simplified, classically- inspired details. Its uncompromisingly, good functional design is demonstrated in its simple footprint, rooflines and massing which reflect the symmetry and the large volume essential to the drill hall and recreation function. The building is also valued for its quality construction materials and good craftsmanship as seen in its masonry construction such as the use of structural clay tile to provide lateral strength and stability to the steel frame structure.
Building A-78 reinforces the formally planned character of its military base setting. It is a familiar landmark within the immediate area and to military personnel.
Sources: Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Research Notes, Building A-78, 94-088; Dyte Hall (Building A78), Canadian Forces Base Borden, Borden, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 94-088.
The character-defining elements of Building A-78 should be respected.
Its aesthetic qualities, functional design and quality craftsmanship, for example: the symmetrical massing, which consists of a large rectangular main building with a
low-pitched roof and shallow one-storey annexes along the front and rear elevations; the classically-inspired detailing uniformly applied to all elevations which creates a
vertical emphasis along the elevations; the main central arched opening, flanked by two smaller arched openings; and the rusticated brick detailing; the window treatment, including the tall, narrow, window openings symmetrically
arranged along all elevations of the main body and the front annex’s twelve-light wood
windows with four-light operating ventilators and exterior metal screening; the masonry construction, including the masonry infill exterior walls with structural
clay tile that provide lateral strength and stability to the steel frame structure, and the
exterior tiles, each the height of two common bricks; the well-constructed steel frame; the exposed steel truss system, and the structural steel columns in the exterior walls that
form pilasters, which divide the large interior space into bays; the interior layout divided into three areas: the front annex with its main entrance and
offices, the main hall/arena, and the rear annex which is a long, largely windowless
The manner in which Building A-78 reinforces the formally planned character of its military base setting at CFB Borden, and is a well-known landmark within the area, as evidenced by: its scale, design and materials, which harmonizes with the buildings in its immediate
vicinity east of the sport field at the base; its clear relationship with the base’s roadway system, and its role as a recreational
facility at the base, which makes it familiar to military personnel; its role as one of the older wartime structures at CFB Borden, which also makes it
familiar within the immediate area.
Heritage Character Statement
The heritage character statement was developed by FHBRO to explain the reasons for the designation of a federal heritage building and what it is about the building that makes it significant (the heritage character). It is a key reference document for anyone involved in planning interventions to federal heritage buildings and is used by FHBRO in their review of interventions.
Dyte Hall is a drill hall constructed in 1939 and designed by the Royal Canadian Engineers. Alterations include roof and eaves replacement and the addition of fixed louvered metal panels to the drill hall's large windows. Originally designed as a drill hall with a rifle range and bowling alley at the rear, it currently functions as a curling arena and archery range. The Department of National Defence is the custodian. See FHBRO Case File No. 94-088.
Reasons for Designation
Dyte Hall has been designated 'Recognized' because of its historical, architectural and environmental significance.
The construction of Dyte Hall is directly associated with the expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces and their facilities prior to and during the Second World War, and reflects the full scale development of the base at this time.
Dyte Hall is a fine example of military architecture. It is characterized by its uncompromisingly functional design, its quality construction materials and its simplified classically-inspired features. These include symmetrical elevations, the use of pilasters, arches at the main entrance and the rustication of the brick work at the entranceway.
Dyte Hall is situated within the Royal Canadian Air Force complex of buildings east of the sports field at CFB Borden and serves as one of the base's recreational facilities. The original character of the site has been retained since its construction. In its massing, materials and detailing, Dyte Hall reinforces the character of this area of the base. As one of the older wartime structures at Borden it is a familiar landmark to military personnel.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of Dyte Hall resides in its large scale, form and massing, construction materials, interior layout and features, and site relationships.
The massing consists of a large rectangular main building with a low pitched roof, with shallow one-storey annexes along the front and the rear elevations. The simple
footprint, rooflines and massing reflect the symmetry and the large volume essential to the drill hall function. The front annex has a centrally-located, slightly protruding entrance block which rises modestly above the roof profile of the annex. The rear annex is a long, largely windowless space reflecting its role as an archery range.
Dyte Hall is a well-constructed steel frame building with masonry infill exterior walls. This masonry construction is a good example of the use of structural clay tile to provide lateral strength and stability to the steel frame structure. The exterior tiles, each the height of two common bricks, visually reduce the scale of this large building. Simplified, classically-inspired detailing is uniformly applied to all elevations. The exterior corners and pilasters subtly project from the building elevations to create vertical emphasis along the elevations. The main entrance features a newer simple central arched opening, which is flanked on either side with two smaller arched openings, and rusticated brick detailing to create visual interest. The masonry merits an ongoing maintenance program and conservation expertise in techniques for repair and replacement.
Tall, narrow, window openings are situated along all elevations of the main body of the building. They are symmetrically arranged and alternate with the pilasters. These windows are currently covered with louvered panels. These windows should be carefully inspected and remedial action should be dictated by conservation guidance.
On the front annex elevation the windows are arranged symmetrically on either side of the entrance. They are twelve-light wood windows with a four-light operating ventilator within the upper portion and are covered with an exterior metal screening. The windows are an important component of the building's character and should be maintained.
The interior of the hall is divided into three areas: the front annex with its main entrance and offices, the main hall/arena, and the rear annex which contains the archery range. The arena is a large spartan space which features an exposed steel truss system. Expressing the structure, the structural steel columns in the exterior walls form pilasters which divide the large interior space into bays. The presence of the exposed steel structure and the masonry infill walls are important to the heritage character of the building and should be retained.
Dyte Hall is located on a level ground plane surrounded on all four sides by the base's roadway system. The building's clear relationship with the roads and with the buildings in its immediate vicinity should be maintained.