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Canada Life Assurance Building

2201 - 11th Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1978/04/05

Canada Life Building from NE; Government of Saskatchewan, Bernie Flaman, 2004
Canada Life Building
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Other Name(s)

Canada Life Assurance Building
Canada Life Assurance Building
Saskatchewan Government Insurance Office

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1912/01/01 to 1914/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/07/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Canada Life Assurance Building is Provincial Heritage Property occupying one end of a business block in downtown Regina. The property features a six storey, terra-cotta faced office building constructed in 1914.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Canada Life Assurance Building lies in its association with the insurance industry in Saskatchewan. From 1914 to 1947, the building served as the Saskatchewan headquarters for the Ontario-based Canada Life Assurance Company. In 1946 Saskatchewan Government Insurance Office (SGIO), the first government-owned insurance company in Canada, established their head office in the building. SGIO purchased the building in 1947and maintained their head office in the building until 1979.

The heritage value of the building also resides in its architecture. The second tallest building in Regina at the time of its construction in 1914, the Canada Life Assurance Building projected prosperity, prestige and stability, images desired by the insurance industry. Featuring an ornate white terra-cotta façade, the building was designed by the prominent Montreal architectural firm of Brown and Vallance in the Gothic Revival style with influences from the Chicago School. The most substantial representative of the style in Saskatchewan, the building is very similar to two other structures designed by Brown and Vallance during the period, the Canada Life Assurance Building (Hollingsworth Building) in Calgary, and the Whalen Building in Thunder Bay.


Source:

Letter from Jim Benning, Acting Deputy Minister, Department of Culture and Youth to Honorable Ned Shillington, Department of Culture and Youth, March 31, 1978.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Canada Life Assurance Building resides in the following character-defining elements:

- Those elements which reflect the Gothic Revival style of architecture, including the vertical piers flanking recessed window bays topped by rounded arches and the ornate shields, floral motifs and other decorative elements on the façade
- The ornate terra cotta façade
- Those elements which reflect the Chicago School of architecture, including the terra-cotta façade, regular window arrangement, boldly projecting cornice and vertical emphasis.
- Those elements which reflect the use of the building as an insurance office, including signage and fixtures.
- Those elements which reflect the prestigious nature of the original office building, including flooring material, staircase, fixtures and ceilings.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Saskatchewan

Recognition Authority

Government of Saskatchewan

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 39(1)

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Property

Recognition Date

1978/04/05

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1946/01/01 to 1979/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Historic

Architect / Designer

Brown and Vallance

Builder

R.J. Lecky and Co. Ltd.

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: PHP 394

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

PHP 394

Status

Published

Related Places

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