Halifax Armoury

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Halifax Armoury
Halifax Armoury.JPG
The Halifax Armoury overlooking Halifax Common
General information
TypeDrill Hall / armoury
Architectural styleRomanesque Revival Style
Location2667 North Park Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3K 1C6
Current tenants36 Signal Regiment The Princess Louise Fusiliers 2501 Artillery Army Cadets Halifax Rifles Army Cadets
Construction started1895
Completed1899
Renovated2017 -
Renovation cost$131 million (2017)
ClientCanadian Forces
OwnerGovernment of Canada
Technical details
Structural systemSandstone structure; Fink Truss Roof
Floor count1
Design and construction
ArchitectThomas Fuller, Chief Dominion Architect
Official nameHalifax Drill Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Designated1989

The Halifax Armoury is a military structure in central Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The armoury is the home base of 36 Signal Regiment, The Princess Louise Fusiliers, and several other reserve units.

Architecture[edit]

Toronto Armoury, demolished 1963

The armoury was designed in 1895 by Chief Dominion Architect Thomas Fuller, and was opened the next year and work on the structure was completed in 1899. While the sandstone exterior is based on a medieval castle, it was actually one of the most advanced structures of its day. It was pioneering in its use of a series of Fink trusses to create a large interior space with no columns or walls, and is today the oldest surviving example of such a building. It was also one of the first buildings in Halifax to be lit by electricity. The plan is similar to that of Fuller's Toronto Armoury, completed in 1894.

History[edit]

It has played an important part in many Canadian wars, being an important transit point for soldiers before departing by ship for the Boer War and both World Wars. It was damaged in the Halifax Explosion in 1917, the west wall being displaced by about 60 centimetres.[1] Still usable after the explosion, the armoury provided shelter for many who had lost their homes.

The armoury again served as an emergency shelter during the 1945 Bedford Magazine explosions, when thousands of North End residents evacuated toward the Halifax Common. The St. John Ambulance Brigade and the army worked together to shelter the evacuees for about 25 hours following the first explosion.[2]

The building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989.[3] In 1991, it was designated a Classified Federal Heritage Building.[4]

Restoration[edit]

Major renovations were announced in January 2017 to restore the west wall to its original position after being damaged in 1917 by the powerful blast of the Halifax Explosion.[1] Up to 20 per cent of the wall required replacement and it was decided to use stone from the original quarry after the source was located in Beckwith, near Pugwash, Nova Scotia.[5]

First phase[edit]

The first phase of the rehabilitation project centres on restoring the damaged west wall, as a tilt caused by the Halifax Explosion has gradually been increasing. Reconstruction of the wall is expected to be complete in October 2019.[6]

Second phase[edit]

The restoration's second phase is expected to be complete by 2024. The interior will be restored, as will the other three facades as well as the building's roof.[7][6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Staff, "North Park Armoury gets permanent fix 100 years after Halifax Explosion," Chronicle Herald (Halifax), January 25, 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017
  2. ^ Gregor, Frances (2008). "The Women of the St. John Ambulance Brigade: Volunteer Nursing Auxiliaries in War-time and Post-war Halifax". Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. 8. ISSN 1486-5920.
  3. ^ Halifax Armoury. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  4. ^ Halifax Armoury. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  5. ^ Anne Farries, "Group goes on stone treasure hunt for North Park Armoury rehab project," Chronicle Herald (Halifax), January 27, 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017
  6. ^ a b Withers, Paul (12 December 2017). "$130M facelift will restore the North Park Armoury, 'the poppy on the lapel of Halifax'". CBC News.
  7. ^ Gunn, Andrea (21 November 2017). "Downtown Halifax armoury renovation gears up for phase two". Halifax Chronicle-Herald.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°39′6.4″N 63°35′13.1″W / 44.651778°N 63.586972°W / 44.651778; -63.586972