Description of Historic Place
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is sided in a prominent location overlooking the Rideau Canal near the lock at Kilmarnock Lockstation, as part of the Rideau Canal National Historic Site of Canada. The two-storey, hipped roof, stone masonry structure is square in plan. The doors and windows are regularly placed and a glazed porch protects the front entrance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House is a very good example of a building associated with the construction and operation of the Rideau Canal. The house illustrates the theme of military defence of Upper Canada and Lower Canada in the second quarter of the 19th century, and the evolution and transformation of the waterway as a federal public work. This building is the only structure on the site surviving from the military era, and is an important representative example of the formative period in the development of Kilmarnock. The structure typifies the changing role of the Rideau Canal from a military function to that of transportation.
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House, valued for its very good aesthetic design characteristic of a late 19th-century residence, is an example of a dual-purpose military and residential structure. Early defensive features included loopholes, while the second-storey addition and summer kitchen reflect the emphasis on residential design, resulting from a change in the function of the canal by the twentieth century. The interior layout exhibits very good functional design. Good craftsmanship is seen in both the thick masonry of the lower storey, the second storey addition and their skillful integration.
The Defensible Lockmaster’s House reinforces the historic character of its park-like setting at Kilmarnock Lockstation and is a familiar landmark to local residents and to visitors.
Sources: James De Jonge, Twenty Nine Buildings, Central Area, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report 91-072 to 91-081; Defensible Lockmaster’s House, Kilmarnock Lockstation, Rideau Canal, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 91-077.
The character-defining elements of the Defensible Lockmaster’s House should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic, functional design and very good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
- the two-storey massing;
- the hipped roof, and the chimney;
- the exterior walls constructed of stone masonry, the thick stone walls of the lower floor, with an infilled loophole on the south façade;
- the placement of the windows and doors, and the symmetrical placement of the second-storey windows;
- the rear kitchen addition;
- the interior configuration.
The manner in which the Defensible Lockmaster’s House reinforces the historic character of its park-like setting at Kilmarnock Lockstation and is a familiar local landmark, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, design and materials, which harmonize with the surrounding green spaces at the lockstation;
- its visibility due to its prominent location adjacent to the canal, which makes it a local landmark.