Butler's Barracks National Historic Site of Canada
© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, B. Morin, 1993.
Queen's Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
1814 to 1854
1939 to 1945
1814 to 1960
Event, Person, Organization:
War of 1812
Royal Canadian Rifles
Canadian Expeditionary Force
Corps of Royal Engineers
Research Report Number:
1966-021; NOV 1963-013; MAY 65-04; NOV 63-15; MAY 62-37
Unknown: Queen's Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Named after Colonel John Butler, a hero of the Revolutionary War, this complex was an integral component of the military facilities built in the Niagara region to replace those destroyed during the War of 1812. Situated inland, out of range of the American artillery across the river, Butler's Barracks comprised more than 20 buildings by 1854. The only structures that survive from this period are the Commissariat Stores, Junior Commissariat Officers' Quarters, Men's Barracks, and Gun Shed. The site was used by the British until 1870, after which it became a training camp for the Canadian militia.
Description of Historic Place
Butler’s Barracks is a historic military complex comprised of five wooden buildings located at the edge of the Commons behind the Fort George National Historic Site of Canada in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Butler’s Barracks was declared a national historic site because its four remaining 19th-century military buildings : are essential and integral elements in the complex of military structures at the mouth of the Niagara River, played a role in the military history of the area.
The heritage value of Butler’s Barracks lies in the form, fabric and physical inter-relationships of the buildings, structures and remains associated with 19th and 20th-century military barracking and troop training. Built by the British after the War of 1812, it was occupied as a military camp until the 1960s.
Sources: HSMBC, Minutes, October 1963, May 1966.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include:
the found form and fabric of archaeological resources on the site relating to British occupation during the 1812-1871 period, the outline and remnants of the palisade, the footprints and fabric of the remains of other structures including the camp hospital, the fuel yard, military stores, barracks ranges, tent cities, and landscape features between Charlotte Street and Paradise Grove, and north from Paradise Grove to the Ramparts of Fort George, landscape features related to military use of the entire site, particularly the Commons, and Otter Trail, the spatial relationships between legible site resources, viewscapes between Butler’s Barracks and Fort George, the found form and fabric of the Gunshed, Soldiers’ Barracks, Commissariat Storehouse, Commissariat Officers’ Quarters, particularly in their timber-frame construction, stone foundations, functional, purpose-driven design, clapboard siding and wood shake roofs, the Gunshed in its rectangular, single-storey massing under low, hipped roof, and main façade with seven bays of double shed doors, the Soldiers’ Barracks in its rectangular, two-storey massing under low, hipped roof, brick wall infill, and regularly placed, horizontally shaped windows, the Commissariat Storehouse in its two-and-a-half-storey, rectangular massing under a pitched roof, end gable walls with central loading doors on three levels, and central chimney with three fireplaces, the Commissariat Officers’ Quarters in its domestic, cottage design, symmetrical, three-bay façade, low, front-sloping gable roof, and rear brick kitchen, the found form and fabric of the World War II temporary building, particularly in its single-storey, rectangular massing under a low pitched roof, its plywood and metal construction on a concrete pad, and its entry on an end wall.