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K. W. Neatby Building #20

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1995/01/05

General view of the K.W. Neatby Building, 1994.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence parcs Canada, Edgar Tumak, October 1994.
General view
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Other Name(s)

K. W. Neatby Building #20
Building 20
Édifice 20

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1936/01/01 to 1938/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/07/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The K.W. Neatby Building is located on a large landscaped lawn at the north-west edge of the Central Experimental Farm(CEF). The building is a large, “G-shaped” flat-roofed structure, clad in brick with stone details. Built in two stages, its design reflects both classical and modern influences in their design. Classical influence is seen in the stepped massing, decorative brickwork and the central pavilion with an arched entrance surrounded by dressed stone and decorative details. The modern influence is seen in its horizontal emphasis, smooth brick walls and rows of strip windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The K.W. Neatby Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The K.W. Neatby Building is closely associated with the consolidation of basic and applied research into one agricultural facility at the Central Experimental Farm. The large addition reflects the public, and governmental support of post-war research programs as well as the further consolidation of the research laboratories. The building is also associated with K.W. Neatby who was a leading force in the creation for the Research Branch. The building was named after him to commemorate his contribution to Canadian agriculture and his directorship of the Science Service.

Architectural Value
The K.W. Neatby Building is valued for its good aesthetic design. Tudor Revival motifs used during the 1930s federal building program are reflected in the south component, while the north component exhibits the International Style as it was used for federal buildings of the mid-1950s. The good functional design of the building is demonstrated in the laboratory and office layouts with its central double-loaded corridor with stairwells at the ends. The good craftsmanship is evidenced in the brickwork and glazing.

Environmental Value
The K.W. Neatby Building is part of a distinctive pair of research buildings facing Carling Avenue in Ottawa. The building is compatible with the character of its landscaped park-like setting and is a familiar building within the immediate area.

Edgar Tumak, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, 94-021.

K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm. Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 94-021.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the K.W. Neatby Building should be respected, for example:

Its good aesthetic and functional design as well as its good craftsmanship and materials, for example:

-The consistent massing, flat-roof profile and quadrangular footprint.
-The 1936-38 “U” shaped section that reflects the classical tripartite division of base, body and cornice.
-The 1956-58 L-shaped addition, which uses simple massing, and a utilitarian approach to function, structure, and materials in keeping with the International Style.
-The uniformly matched brick and non-reflective glazing, the brick diapering linking second and third floors, the projecting stack-bonded brick window surrounds and simple brick coping.
-The split-face limestone cladding for the base, dressed limestone for string courses, sills, high relief carving, coat of arms, spandrels, quoins and crenelated parapets and the simple limestone coping.
-The 1936-38 building’s entrance doors and transoms.
-The strip windows, fine scale mullions and spandrel panels of the 1950s addition.
-The laboratory and office layouts, including the central double-loaded corridor with stairwells at the corridor ends.
-The interior materials, including plaster ceilings, terrazzo floors, metal stair and handrails, and the stone and glass walls of the lobby.

The manner in which the K.W. Neatby Building is compatible with the character of its landscaped, park-like setting and is a familiar landmark within the immediate area, as evidenced by:
-Its horizontal massing, design and materials, which complement the adjacent Laboratory Services, Building #22 and harmonizes with surrounding buildings on Carling Avenue.
-Its visibility due to its orientation towards the northern perimeter of the CEF, so that its front entrance faces Carling Avenue.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1956/01/01 to 1958/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Health and Research
Research Facility

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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Aerial view of research centre and fields

Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site of Canada

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