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Key Number: HS 6081
Site Name: Connaught (Strathcona) Armoury
Other Names:
Site Type: 1405 - Military: Armoury or Drill Hall

Location

ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
52 24 4


Address: 10310 - 85 Avenue
Number: 10
Street: 103
Avenue: 85
Other:
Town: Edmonton
Near Town:

Media

Type Number Date View
Source

Architectural

Style:
Plan Shape: Rectangular Long Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 2
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Concrete
Superstructure: Brick
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Flat
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: Rear
Number of Bays - Facade: First or Ground Floor, 5 Bays
Wall Design and Detail: Plain Panel
Wall Design and Detail: String or Belt Course
Wall Design and Detail: Plain Parapet
Wall Design and Detail: Crenellated Parapet
Wall Design and Detail: Carving
Wall Design and Detail: Inscription or Date Stone
Wall Design and Detail: Balcony
Plain Eaves
Roof Trim - Verges: Not Applicable
Dormer Type: None
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Offset Left
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Offset Right
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Side Left
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Side Right
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Centre
Chimney Location - Front to Rear: Rear
Chimney Stack Material: Brick
Chimney Stack Massing: Single
Roof Trim - Special Features: Finial
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Voussoirs
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: None
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Brick
Window - Sill Type: Plain Lug Sill
Window - Sill Material: Stone
Window - Number of Sashes: Other
Window - Opening Mechanism: Single or Double Hung
Main Entrance - Location: Centre (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Segmental
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: None
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Wood
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Flat Transom, Single Light
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 2
Main Entrance - Number of Panels Per Leaf: 2
Main Stairs - Location and Design: First or Ground Floor, Closed Railing
Main Stairs - Direction: Straight
Main Porch - Type: Open Porch
Main Porch - Material: Brick
Main Porch - Height: First Storey
Exterior: Parapets with crenelation sandstone belt course and voussoirs over windows. Keystone above entrance; second storey segmental 1/2 windows.
Interior: Ground floor: large assembly hall; lecture room upstairs, storage room, shooting gallery, rifle range, bowling alley.
Environment: Neighbourhood: Strathcona Property Features: None Building located within the Old Strathcona Preservation Area. Prominent; corner location.
Condition: Structure: Good. Repair: Poor. 6 JUN 1978 Building Description Condition: Two Storey rectangular brick building with sandstone trim. In good structural condition, but poor repair. Deterioration and vandalism are evident.
Alterations: Apparent Alterations and/or Additions: None Site: Original

Historical

Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Started
1911/01/01
Usage: Usage Date:
Military: Armoury or Drill Hall
19 Alberta Dragoons
Vacant
Storage
1911/01/01
1911/01/01
1967/01/01
1967/01/01
Owner: Owner Date:
A. Nanton & J. Munson
Angus McLeod
His Majesty King Edward VII
19th Alberta Dragoons
City of Edmonton
City of Edmonton
1903/03/28
1903/07/09
1909/05/10
1911/01/01
1965/12/22
1979/02/16
Architect: Federal Department of Public Works
Builder: Brown Contracting Company
Craftsman: N/A
History: Construction Cost $30,000. The 19th Alberta Dragoons B Squadron was housed there until 1965. The oldest Armoury in the province, the building has recently undergone extensive interior renovations and has re-opened as a restaurant.
Named in honour of the Duke of Connaught, home of the 19th Alberta Dragoons. Oldest extant armoury in Alberta. Home of Alberta's oldest mounted regiments.
File # R60L - Copies of newspaper articles, correspondence and title search. Plans also in file.
Used for services in 1913 by Holy Trinity congregation while their new church was under construction.
Vacated in 1967.
The Old Strathcona Foundation will be selecting a new tenant in 1978.
The Building will be renovated to suit the new use.
Present Owner - City of Edmonton - Property Branch.
Designated Historic Site.
1903 March 28 - Owner: Nanton and Munson.
1965 December 22 - Owner: City of Edmonton (present owner).
* * Constructed in 1911, this building was the home of the 19th Alberta Dragoons. The title was returned to the City in 1965. The building was vacated in 1967 and is presently used for storage.
This building is of heritage significance to the Province, because it is the oldest extant armoury in Alberta. As the home of some of Alberta's oldest mounted regiments, it represents the early military history of the Province. It is an important element in the historical integrity of old Strathcona.
* * * CONNAUGHT ARMORY (1911) Where Soldiers Once Toiled
The crack of militia at firearms practice has since yielded to light beer, steak sandwiches and the beat of Top 40 artists, at the old Connaught Armoury.
The armoury, Alberta's oldest, is finished in orange brick with sandstone trim. The two-storey building was constructed in 1911 by the federal government to house the B Squadron of the 19th Alberta Dragons.
By 1987 a snappy canopy and interlocking brick pathway extended from the arched entranceway which was topped by limestone cannonballs.
Inside features such as a classy oak bar with a white onyx top, a stainless steel dance floor, chandeliers and mirrored blinds effuse the modern mind.
The restaurant sublets the building from the Old Strathacona Foundation, which in turn leases it for $3,000 a month from the city.
The city acquired the building from the federal government in 1965 after the Dragoons were disbanded. The building sat idle for the next 14 years and was often vandalized. The Foundation leased the armoury in 1976 because the building was considered an integral part of the old City of Strathcona. Three years later, it was given its historic designation by Alberta Culture.
In 1979 the foundation sublet the building to the Armoury Restaurant which spent $75,000 on renovations, including adding mementoes of the Dragoons and early Edmontonia. But the attempt at high-class gourmet dining failed to attract sufficient massses and the operation closed in 1983. In 1985, restaurant owners spent an additional $300,000 refurbishing the building.
To ensure that the dignity of the facade was maintained, the foundation and Alberta Culture monitored the renovations, which the foundation termed a quality job.
The armoury was named for the Duke of Connaught, the third son of Queen Victoria and Canada's governor general from 1911 to 1916. The duke, Arthur William Patrick Albert, was born in 1850 and died in 1942.
The armoury which honored him included a 90-foot rifle range in the basement where continental cuisine would eventually be prepared.
Other original features included a parade hall, reading room, mess room and regimental offices.
The Dragoons were the first Alberta regiment mobilized during the First World War, and saw action at Ypres, the Somme and Vimy Ridge.
During the Second World War, they provided soldiers for various other units.
The Dragoons were reincarnated in several forms prior to reformation in 1954. They continued to use the armoury until they were disbanded a decade later, when the regimental colors were placed in Holy Trinity Anglican Church in the custody of the regiment's padre - Capt. T.L.
Leadbeater.
* * * SITE DATA FORM Building Description Condition: Two Storey rectangular brick building with sandstone trim. In good structural condition, but poor repair. Deterioration and vandalism are evident.
Site History: Constructed in 1911, this building was the home of the 19th Alberta Dragoons. The title was returned to the City in 1965.
The building was vacated in 1967 and is presently used for storage.
Heritage Significance: This building is of heritage significance to the Province because it is the oldest extant armoury in Alberta. As the home of some of Alberta's oldest mounted regiments, it represents the early military history of the Province. It is an important element in the historical integrity of old Strathcona.
Historical Importance: this building is of historical importance to the Province as it is the oldest extant armoury in Alberta. It was the home of some Alabeta's oldest regiments and thus represents an obsolete military function.
Architectural Importance: This building is of architectural importance to the Province, because it is the oldest extant example of a Cavalry type in Alberta it is also the only extant armoury of this style in the Province. Its brick and sandstone construction and near-original exterior lend it added importance.
Building located within the Old Strathcona Preservation Area.
Structure is reportedly sound and exterior brick and stone in good condition. However, the interior has deteriorated and suffers from a leaking roof and vandalism. (1978).
* * * Early in the century, with clouds of war gathering on the european horizon, the Canadian Government began forming militia units in the West. One of the first of these was the Alberta Mounted Rifles, organized at Edmonton and Strathcona in 1905. In 1911, the regiment was re-named the 19th Alberta Dragoons. That same year construction was begun on this armoury, as a permanent home for 'B' squadron of the regiment. The building was named for H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, who became governor-general of Canada in 1911. From this armoury, The Draggons went to war in 1914 and again 1939. In 1965, the building was sold to the city of Edmonton, when the regiment was removed from the order of battle.
The oldest armoury still standing in Alberta, Connaught Armoury was declared a Provincial Historic Resource on 16 February 1979, upon the recommendation of the Honorable Horst A. Schmid, Minister of Culture.
* * * This Armoury was built in 1911 at a cost of $35,000.00 by the Brown Contracting Co. of Winnipeg. The Armoury became the home of the 19th Alberta Dragoons.
'The Dragoons had their beginning on Dec. 1, 1905 when three independent squadrons of the Canadian Mounted Rifles were organized.
These inluded 'A' Squadron of Edmonton, 'B' at Strathcona and 'C' at Fort Saskatchewan. It became one of the early millitia groups in the province. A fourth Squadron was established at St. Albert in 1907 and in the following year the government designated it as 'a four squadron regiment' named the '19th Alberta Mounted Rifles. It revived its well known title of 19th Alberta Dragoon on January 3, 1911.' (from a History of the 19th Alberta Dragoons in the First World War, compiled by Col. F.C. Jamieson).
The Armoury housed the regimental offices, mess, small drill hall and rifle range. Vacated in 1967 the building is presently used by the city for storage. The interior is in poor condition, the roof leaks badly, walls are cracked and peeling, the heating system is inoperable, plumbing fixtures have been broken and removed and the electrical wiring requires renovations. The exterior brick work and stone work is in good condition.
* * * DRAFT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 7, 1979, Edmonton, Alberta
PROVINCE DECLARES OLDEST ARMOURY IN ALBERTA A PROVINCIAL HISTORIC RESOURCE
The oldest armoury in Alberta has been designated a Provincial Historic Resource, it was announced by Horst a. Schimid, Minister of Culture.
The Connaught Armoury, a two-storey brick and sandstone structure at 85th Avenue and 103rd Street, Edmonton, was built in 1911 and housed the 19th Alberta Dragoons. Used as an armoury by the Department of National Defense until until 1965, the Connaught Armoury represents the early military history of Alberta. Vacated in 1967, the building is presently used for storage.
The armoury is the only such building in the province designed in the Cavalry Style.

Internal

Status: Status Date:
Abandoned
Active

1993/09/28
Designation Status: Designation Date:
Municipal B List
Provincial Historic Resource

1979/02/16
Register: B210
Record Information: Record Information Date:
K. Williams 1989/06/12

Links

Internet:
Alberta Register of Historic Places: 4665-0509
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