OCdts. On Parade

Historic Places of Canada – Officer’s Mess Royal Military College Saint-Jean


The Officer’s Mess, also known as Building 5 is one of a group of buildings located within the earthen ramparts of the former Fort Saint-Jean, now the . The large, rectangular building with projecting end pavilions is topped by a hipped roof with many brick chimneys.  Regularly spaced windows with minimal stonework, and pedimented door openings, enliven the solid brick walls of the building. The Canada`s Historic Places designation is confined to the footprint of the building. The Officer’s Mess is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value. The Officer’s Mess, as one of a group of buildings constructed within the walls of the former Fort Saint-Jean in 1839, is closely associated with an effort to improve the district’s defences following the 1837-1838 rebellion. Fort Saint-Jean remained an important military centre for the stationing of troops and supplies. The structure is also associated with a period of growth in the city’s commercial activity and its supporting railway, canal and bridge transportation links. One of the most significant stages in the development of the complex was its choice in 1952 as Canada’s third, and first francophone, military college. The Officer’s Mess is valued for its good aesthetic design whereby simplified vernacular forms influenced by British Classicism are evidenced in its rigid symmetry, rectangular form and classical proportions. The solid walls of irregularly sized brick demonstrate a good functional design. The stonework, such as the dressed foundation, and the flat arches that span the regularly spaced windows, are also evidence of the building’s very good craftsmanship and materials. The Officer’s Mess reinforces the mid-19th century character of its former fort, now military school setting at the Royal Military College Saint Jean. The building is well-known to those who live, work and frequent the complex.

Canada’s Historic Places


Historic Places of Canada – The Old Gymnasium


The Old Gymnasium, also known as Building No. 25, faces the athletic field along the east side of the historic parade square precinct at the Royal Military College (RMC) campus in Kingston. The long, gable-roofed brick building has large windows and classical details in wood and limestone. The Canada’s historic places designation is confined to the footprint of the building. The Old Gymnasium is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value. The Old Gymnasium is losely associated with the development of Kingston’s Royal Military College, and more particularly with the development of physical training and exhibition as an integral part of Canadian military education. The aim of the college was to produce a “scientific class of officers fit for senior militia appointments”, through the combination of a rigid academic schedule with a highly disciplined athletic program. The construction of the gymnasium marked an important step in this development. The Old Gymnasium is valued for its very good aesthetic design, which draws on classical symmetry, balance, and simplicity, all of which are characteristic of military architecture. The very good functional design of the structural system follows functional guidelines for buildings of this type, and creates an interior, column-free space that provides the appropriate evels of natural light with its large, regularly spaced windows. The Old Gymnasium is located along the east side of the quad at the campus and maintains an unchanged relationship to its site. The building reinforces the character of its parade square precinct setting and is familiar to those who live and work at, or frequent he campus. The following character-defining elements of the Old Gymnasium should be respected. Its very good aesthetic and functional design, and good craftsmanship and materials.

Canada’s Historic Places

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