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Mewata Armoury

Calgary

Other Names:
Mewata Armouries

Location



Street Address: 801 - 11 Street SW
Community: Calgary
Boundaries: Portion of Block A, Plan A1
Contributing Resources: N/A

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
5
1
24
16
11 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
A1
A (ptn.)
N/A


Latitude/Longitude:
Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
51.046288 -114.089345 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: 1979/11/02

Historical Information

Built: 1916 to 1916
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s)
Historic Function(s): Defence : Armoury or Drill Hall
Current Function(s):
Architect: Design by T. W. Fuller of federal Department of Public Works; supervised locally by architect Leo Dowler
Builder: A. G. Creelman Company
Context: HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE

The heritage significance of this structure derives from its association with the Dominion Government's efforts to provide training facilities for Canada's armed forces in the period after 1900. It was one of the two armouries built in the Province that were designed specifically to serve the needs of infantry regiments. Its design and construction materials reflect a policy to provide permanent facilities for the long term administration and training of Canada's armed forces rather than to meet a specific military emergency.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

This building is of historical importance to the Province because it has played a central role in the administration of military affairs in Southern Alberta. It was among the first armouries to be built in the Province and has served a military function since its construction. It has been the home of some of Alberta's oldest regiments whose origins pre-date this century.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

This armoury is of architectural importance to the Province, because there are only a few armouries of this vintage in Alberta. This is only 1 of 2 examples of a castle-like style. The massive proportions and use of brick and sandstone are also unusual.

(Site Information Summary)



Calgary-McCall Andy Little, representing the Provincial Government and especially the Minister of Culture, Mrs. Mary LeMessurier, will be announcing during the Royal Canadian Legion's Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium that the formal documentation having been completed, Mewata Armoury, home of Calgary's Militia since 1917, has been declared to be a Provincial Heritage Site.

The armoury, built on parkland donated for the purpose by the citizens of Calgary in 1913, was built during the midst of the 1914-1918 war, to replace the several scattered, rather improvised armouries around Calgary. Following the end of the war, in 1919, it became the home of the newly formed Calgary Regiment whose First Battalion survives as the Calgary Highlanders while the Second Battalion became an armoured Regiment in 1936 and survives as the King's Own Calgary Regiment. Also stationed at Mewata were other units, now disbanded, including various units of the Royal Canadian Artillery, Royal Canadian Engineers the 15th Light Horse and numerous support units perpetuated by 14th (Calgary) Service Battalion and various units of the Royal Canadian Signals, perpetuated by 746 (Calgary) Communications Squadron.

Between 1921 and 1936, the armoury was home to the sole Regular Army unit then stationed in Calgary - B Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians). It has been estimated that several hundred thousand men passed through the armoury during the two world wars; during the second, the building was surrounded by temporary huts, the last of which survived until the early 1970s.

Since the end of the 1939-45 war, the armoury has been in constant use as home for Militia and (latterly) Communications Reserve, and as Headquarters for Southern Alberta Militia District as well as for a number of Cadet Corps.

Besides its Military use - which is a pretty constant affair - the armoury has been used by both Regular troops and Police for specialist training - by such groups as the Calgary Safety Round-Up Band besides an occasional 'special event' as the hectic day in 1975 when the bands participating in the Grey Cup Parade were marshalled in the building…



Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0460
Designation File: DES 0177
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 22050
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. 177)
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