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Joliette Court House National Historic Site of Canada

450 St. Louis Street, Joliette, Quebec, J6E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/06/16

General view of Joliette Court House, showing its projecting pedimented frontispiece, 1982.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1982.
General view
Interior view of the Joliette Court House, showing interior elements related to its public function, 1982.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1982.
Interior view
Detail of the Joliette Court House, showing its centrally placed entrance flanked by pilasters, 1982.; Agence Parcs Canada / Parks Canada Agency, 1982.
Detail

Other Name(s)

Joliette Court House National Historic Site of Canada
Joliette Court House
Palais de justice de Joliette

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1860/01/01 to 1862/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/06/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Joliette Court House National Historic Site of Canada is a stately, two-storey, stone building in the Neo-classical style. It was constructed from 1860 to 1862 as a combined court house, registry office and jail. The building is comprised of the original, symmetrical central block with a jail wing to the rear, a sympathetic, two-storey addition built in 1916, and two annexes added in 1960-1961. The formal recognition consists of the building on its legal property as it was at the time of designation (1980).

Heritage Value

The Joliette Court House was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1980 because:
- it is representative of a significant functional type;
- its formal quality, enhanced by fine stone construction, makes this structure an imposing symbol of the judicial system in Québec.

The Joliette Court House is a particularly fine and well-preserved example of a Neo-classical public building. It was constructed from 1860 to 1862 for what was then called “le village de l’Industrie” by the government of united Canada, as one of about 28 court houses in Lower Canada. The court house follows a standardized building plan created by F. P. Rubidge, architect for the Department of Public Works of united Canada, for 14 courthouses in Lower Canada built between 1859 and 1863. It features a court room at the centre of the main floor flanked by a jury room on one side and rooms for judges, lawyers and petit jury on the other. The second storey of the main block was used for offices. A rear wing, constructed as a prison, was divided into cells.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1980.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which relate to the heritage value of the Joliette Court House are:
- its Neo-classical design as seen in the symmetry of the original section, the projecting, pedimented frontispiece, the clear articulation of the ground and second storeys achieved through distinctive window treatments and distinct floor heights, the use of rectangular openings of the ground storey, round-arched openings with keystones on the second storey, the low-pitched roof, the centrally placed entrance flanked by pilasters and surmounted by a large entablature, and the six-over-six double-hung sash windows;
- surviving original elements related to its role as a public building, including its formal Neo-classical design, high quality masonry and imposing scale;
- elements related to its use as a court house, registry office and jail in the mid-19th century, including surviving elements of original layout, finishes and furnishings.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1980/06/16

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1916/01/01 to 1916/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Security and Law
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Government
Correctional Facility
Government
Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer

F.P. Rubidge

Builder

Sinclair & Skelsy

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Québec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

620

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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