Recognized Federal Heritage Building
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Pleau, 1999.
Highway 9, Selkirk, Manitoba
Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property
1838 to 1838
FHBRO Report Reference:
Description of Historic Place
The Warehouse, located at the northeast corner of Lower Fort Garry is a large stone building, whose symmetry recalls the British classical tradition. It has a medium pitched roof, gabled dormers and two stone chimneys. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Warehouse is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Warehouse is associated with the continued development of Lower Fort Garry as a trans-shipment depot and agricultural supply center for the Canadian fur trade. Lower Fort Garry was established in 1830 as an administrative center for the Northern Department of the Fur Trade, after the amalgamation of the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company in 1821.
The Warehouse is a very good example of a utilitarian building whose symmetrical design recalls the British classical tradition. The very good functional quality of the building is reflected on the interior which expresses the Georgian tradition while its adaptable interior floor plan reflects a standard feature of the Hudson Bay Company’s warehouse design.
The Warehouse reinforces the historic character of its fort setting at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. Serving as a food concession it is a popular spot for visitors of the site.
Kate MacFarlane, Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, Selkirk, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report, 89-004.
The Warehouse, Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, Selkirk, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement, 89-004.
The following character-defining elements of the Warehouse should be respected, for example:
Its utilitarian design that recalls the British classical tradition, and quality craftsmanship
The large rectangular massing and symmetry of the building. The medium-pitched hipped roof with gabled dormers and two stone chimneys. The arrangement of windows and doors. The rubble masonry with corner quoins and plain stone lintels and sills. The interior open-plan design.
The manner in which the Warehouse reinforces the historic character of its Fort setting and is a familiar building at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, as evidenced by:
Its identical size, materials and design to the Furloft/Saleshop closely located to the
building. Its scale, utilitarian form and design which make it compatible with the other structures
at the Fort. Its frequent use by visitors of the site.
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.
The Warehouse was built around 1838. The construction of the Warehouse was likely directed by Duncan McRae, an Hebridien stonemason employed by the Hudson's Bay Company. The Warehouse was built as a storage facility to address the problem of over crowding of the Furloft/Saleshop. It was restored during the 1970s and is partly used to interpret the fort as a transshipment depot and agricultural supply centre. The custodian of the property is Environment Canada Parks Service. See FHBRO Building Report 89-04.
Reasons for Designation
The Warehouse was designated Recognized because of its historical associations, its architectural significance, and its environmental value.
The Warehouse is part of Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site. Established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1830, the fort represents one of Canada's largest remaining concentrations of fur trade structures.
The Warehouse is associated with the current interpretive emphasis at Lower Fort Garry, the development of the fort as a transshipment depot and agricultural centre for the Rupert's Land fur trade.
Viewed collectively, the buildings of Lower Fort Garry represent an important concentration of fur trade architecture. They reflect elements of a common fur trade building tradition, one which was based on both French and British contributions modified by functional and resource considerations. The Warehouse along with other stone buildings at Lower Fort Garry represent the earlier construction phases at the site. The Warehouse and its nearby contemporary, the Furloft/Saleshop, are rare examples of their functional type, constructed in stone.
The original buildings remaining at Lower Fort Garry exhibit a strong visual unity due to several factors: all but two are physically contained within the perimeter walls; all but one date from the period 1830-55; and all are constructed either of stone or timber frame with stone infill. Nonetheless, within this physically cohesive unit, individual buildings, such as the Warehouse exert an influence on the present character of the site.
Character Defining Elements
The heritage character of the Warehouse is defined by the integrity of its exterior design and by elements of its interior which express the Georgian tradition and exhibit the standard features of the Hudson's Bay Company's warehouse design. The heritage character also lies in the contextual relationship between the building and its setting.
The Warehouse is a two and one-half storey rectangular building constructed of rubble and cut quarried limestone. It has a medium pitched hipped roof anchored by two stone chimneys. The roof has three gabled dormers on the south slope and two on the north.
The symmetry of design recalls the British classical tradition. The south elevation is symmetrically arranged with two doors and four windows at the ground level and six corresponding windows on the second. The north (rear) elevation has first and second floor windows aligned with the northwest dormer and a second floor door and first door window aligned with the northeast dormer. The west elevation has a single, centrally placed entrance and the east elevation is a solid wall. All windows are of the multi-pane double-hung configuration.
The roof is covered with cedar shingles. The cedar shingles contribute to the heritage character of the building. This material should therefore be preserved.
The building features rubble masonry with corner quoins and plain stone lintels and sills for the windows. The masonry work is an important character defining element and warrants careful maintenance with the use of appropriate expertise for any repair, repointing and whitewashing.
The initial warehousing function resulted in an open-plan design. Any future interior refurbishing should respect original function, layout and finishes.
The Warehouse is located inside the walls in the northeast corner of the fort, and the Furloft/Saleshop located directly across the grounds, at the southeast corner, echo one another in size, materials, design and function. The historical relationship of the building to its site and adjacent buildings should be maintained.