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Land Titles Building - Victoria Armouries

Edmonton

Other Names:
(Old) Land Titles Office
Dominion Land Titles Building
Industrial Health Lab
Land Titles Office (Old)
Old Land Titles Building
Old Land Titles Office
Victoria Armouries
Victoria Armoury

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Land Titles Building - Victoria Armouries is a one and one-half storey building of brick covered in stucco located on two city lots on 100th Avenue in downtown Edmonton.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Land Titles Building lies in its structural representation of the settlement in Northern Alberta, as the site where immigrants would register their claims to Crown land. As the Victoria Armouries, it is significant for its association with three Edmonton regiments.

The Land Titles Building was constructed in 1893 to serve as the Crown Land, Timber and Registry Office for the District of Alberta in the North West Territories. (The federal government tried to move the office across the North Saskatchewan River to the rival town of Strathcona, but Edmonton residents sabotaged the wagons carrying the office's records and furniture, and engaged in an armed stand off with North West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.) in protest). It is likely the oldest existing Land Titles Office in Alberta, one of the oldest extant buildings in the province, and certainly the first purpose-built registry office.

When the volume of business necessitated a new Land Titles Office in 1912, the building on 100th Avenue became the Victoria Armoury. The Armoury was home to a series of Edmonton regiments over the next half-century: the 19th Alberta Dragoons (1915-39), Edmonton Fusiliers (1940-46), and the 19th Armoured Car Regiment (1947-8).

As a federal building, the original bisymmetrical design is attributable to Thomas Fuller, Chief Architect of the Dominion, but it echoes Hudson's Bay Company (H.B.C.) warehouses in Edmonton and elsewhere. Two additions have been constructed on the east elevation. The first, built during its use as an armoury, continued the general style and roofline to the east. A box-like addition was added later.

Together with the Arlington Apartments across the street, the Land Titles Building - Victoria Armouries establishes a direct link with the pre-World War One development of Edmonton.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 208)



Character-Defining Elements
The heritage value of the Land Titles Building - Victoria Armories lies in such character-defining elements as:
- form, scale and massing (original 1893 building is bisymmetrical on a central north / south axis);
- jerkinshead roof with narrow, hipped dormers;
- boxlike flat-roofed addition forward of east elevation;
- bisymmetrical fenestration pattern describing the original 1893 building, additional irregular windows in additions, two-over-two and one-over-one wood windows.


Location



Street Address: 10523 - 100 Avenue
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Plan B, Block 5, Lots 49 and 50
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4
24
52
32
15 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
NB
NB
5
5
50
49



Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.538572 -113.502433 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type

Recognition

Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1977/03/15

Historical Information

Built: 1893/01/01 To 1893/01/01
Significant Date(s) 1893/01/01 To 1940/12/31
Theme(s) Governing Canada : Military and Defence
Peopling the Land : Settlement
Historic Function(s): Government : Courthouse and/or Registry Office
Current Function(s):
Architect: Thomas Fuller
Builder:
Context: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

Opened in 1893, this building served as the crown land, timber and registry office for several years and may be the oldest such building in the province. The style of architecture appears to have been copied from the old Hudson's Bay Company warehouses in Edmonton and elsewhere. During World War One, the 19th Alberta Dragoons occupied the building and remained there until the late 1930's when the Edmonton Fusiliers took it over and remained there for the duration of World War Two. The 19th Armoured Car Regiment occupied it for the next few years. Victoria Armouries (as it was called for more than three decades) was then used mainly for the offices and laboratories of the Provincial Government Department of Health.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0395
Designation File: DES 0208
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 14503
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 208)
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