Quebec City Armoury

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Grande Allée Drill Hall, Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury
Manège Militaire, Quebec City, Les Voltigeurs de Québec - crop.jpg
Grande Allée Drill Hall, Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury
General information
Type Drill Hall / armoury
Architectural style Gothic Revival Chateau-style
Location Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Address 805 Wilfrid-Laurier Avenue East,
Construction started 1885
Completed 1888
Destroyed 2008 (fire)
Owner Canadian Forces
Design and construction
Architect Eugène-Étienne Taché
Awards and prizes National Historic Site of Canada;Canada's Register of Historic Places;[1] Classified - 1987 Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings [2]

The Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury, formerly Grande-Allée Armoury (French: Manège militaire Grande-Allée, or simply Manège militaire), was built as a Gothic Revival drill hall for the infantry regiment Les Voltigeurs de Québec at 805 Wilfrid-Laurier Avenue East, Quebec City, Canada. Designed by architect Eugène-Étienne Taché and constructed between 1885 and 1888,[3] it is a National Historic Site of Canada.

Partially destroyed by fire in 2008, the armoury has received a commitment from the Canadian national government to be rebuilt by 2016.

History[edit]

In the Canadian Forces, an armoury is a place where a reserve unit trains, meets, and parades.

"JE ME SOUVIENS" (1989)by André Gauthier (sculptor) at The Quebec City Armoury
The Armoury before the fire (September 2007)
After the fire (July 2008)

"JE ME SOUVIENS" (1989) by André Gauthier (sculptor), a 6’ X 9’ bronze 'haut-relief' bronze and granite wall memorial, was erected at Place George V in front of the Grande Allée Armoury in Quebec City, Quebec. Unveiled on November 11, 1989, the sculpture honours the memory of the soldiers from the Royal 22e Régiment (R 22e R) or "Van Doos" French Canadian regiment who were killed during the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. The sculpture was inspired by A.T.C. Bastiens' painting “L’Avance” at the Canadian War Museum. The names of soldiers are inscribed in granite on the monument.[4]

The Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury was destroyed by a fire on April 4, 2008. All but a rear wall and turrets beside the front door were burned.[5] Les Voltigeurs de Québec Museum in the amoury which housed various artifacts from the regiment was also lost in the fire. However, officials estimate that 90 percent of the artifacts were saved due to the efforts of members of the regiment and local firefighters.[6] The armoury was to have been one of the venues for the celebration of Quebec's 400th birthday.[7] The armoury's wooden roof was one of the largest of its kind in Canada.[8]

Calls have been made by politicians to rebuild the armoury,[9] to which the federal government has responded positively by allocating $2 million for reconstruction planning.[10] In the fall of 2008, the regimental association launched a lawsuit against the Department of National Defence, blaming negligence on the part of the federal government for the blaze.[11] In 2010, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Josée Verner announced federal plans to rebuild the armoury by 2016.[12]

Plaque[edit]

A Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque was erected in 1991 to commemorate the Grande Allée Drill Hall and its architectural uniqueness.[13] The Grande Allée Drill Hall is an impressive example of a drill hall that retains its original parade square. Designed by Eugène-Étienne Taché, a Quebec public servant and architect, the stone building was completed in 1887, with an addition in 1913. The steeply pitched gable roof, conical towers and fanciful decorative details of the drill hall make it an early example of the French-inspired Château style. The use of the style here is unique among Canadian drill halls of this period and reflects the late 19th century interest in the historic French roots of the city. [14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 46°48′23″N 71°12′50″W / 46.8063°N 71.214°W / 46.8063; -71.214