Former Elora Drill Shed National Historic Site of Canada
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, J. Butterill, 1995.
Metcalfe at Clyde Street, Elora, Ontario
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
1865 to 1865
Event, Person, Organization:
Elora Militia Regiment
Former Elora Drill Shed
Elora Drill Shed
Research Report Number:
Drill Hall Study 1989
Existing plaque: outside entrance to LCBO Metcalfe Street at Clyde Street, Elora, Ontario
This handsome stone structure, built in 1865, is a rare surviving example of early drill hall architecture in Canada. During the 1860s, the American Civil War and the Fenian raids raised fears for the defence of British North America. In response, the Canadian militia was strengthened, and many rural communities erected drill halls to train their volunteers. Notable for its classical proportions, its semicircular fan light over the door and oculus in the gable, this is an unusually well-constructed building of its type.
Description of Historic Place
The Former Elora Drill Shed National Historic Site of Canada is a simple single-storey mid 19th-century stone building under a pitched roof. Located in the town of Elora, Ontario, it was built for both military exercises and community use and it contains a large open hall. The designation refers to the building on its lot.
The Former Elora Drill Shed was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989 because: it is a good representative example from the first stage in the evolution of the Canadian Drill Hall (1863-1871); unusually well built, the Former Elora Drill Shed is notable for its classical proportions, the semi-circular fan light over the door and the oculus in the gable.
The Former Elora Drill Shed is a particularly well-built example of the type of drill shed constructed in Canada by rural militia units before the Department of Defence introduced a standard design for such buildings. Although built to a simple open-hall plan, its stone construction and careful finishing raise it above the norm for its time. Intended to serve as both a community hall and a drill hall, today, the Drill Shed remains an integral part of the community in Elora, currently housing the local franchise of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO).
Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1989, June 1993.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include: the rectangular footprint of the original drill shed and its single storey massing under a medium pitched roof; its stone construction with wood detailing; its regularly placed multi-pane sash windows on each side elevation; its gable front façade with central entry flanked by multi-pane sash windows and an oculus above; the paneled main door with fanlight; the sympathetic design of rear and porch additions; its open interior volume; the integrity of original interior materials, furnishings and fittings; the landscaped site.