Battleford Land Registry Office
Links and documents
1877/01/01 to 1878/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Land Registry Office at Battleford is a Provincial Heritage Property located on Government Ridge overlooking the junction of the Battle and North Saskatchewan Rivers and the main townsite of Battleford. The property features a small, red-brick building constructed in 1877-78, nestled in a small grove of trees and shrubs.
The heritage value of the Land Registry Office resides in its status as the first land registry building in the North-West Territories constructed by the Dominion government. Though land registrations were initially conducted through offices in Winnipeg, the government anticipated a rapid and massive settlement of the recently-acquired western region. To meet this need, it commissioned Chief Dominion Architect Thomas Scott to design a permanent facility for the storage and administration of land ownership records. With Battleford's new status as the official capital of the North-West Territories, the decision was made to locate the Land Registry Office within the complex of other Territorial government buildings on Government Ridge, which overlooked the townsite.
Heritage value also lies in the building's status as the first known brick building constructed in Saskatchewan. Built from brick manufactured on-site specifically for use in this building and other nearby Territorial Government structures, the 1½-foot thick brick walls and the metal roof created a nearly fireproof building. This factor was fundamental to the protection of the irreplaceable land registration documents and attested to the value that the government placed on official land holding records. The brick also contributes to the Georgian style of architecture that is reflected in the Land Registry Office. With its minimal exterior detailing, symmetrical façade, and hipped roof, the only detailing on the building are the brick corbels above the doors and windows.
Used as a land registry office for over 30 years, the Land Registry Office is the last remaining building on Battleford's Government Ridge that dates from the Territorial era.
Province of Saskatchewan, Notice of Intention to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under The Heritage Property Act, February 21, 1983.
Province of Saskatchewan, Order to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under The Heritage Property Act, May 9, 1983.
The heritage value of the Land Registry Office resides in the following character-defining elements:
-elements that speak to its use as a land registry office, such as the 1½ foot thick brick walls and the original vault;
-elements that reflect the Georgian architectural influence, including the building's symmetrical façade, the hipped roof, and the brick corbels;
-elements that illustrate the use of local construction materials, including the red brick and metal roof;
-its siting in a small grove of trees and shrubs on its hilltop location on Government Ridge.
Government of Saskatchewan
Heritage Property Act, s. 39(1)
Provincial Heritage Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Government and Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Courthouse and/or Registry Office
Architect / Designer
Thomas S. Scott
John G. Oliver
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Conservation Branch,
Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport,
3211 Albert Street,
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 5W6
Cross-Reference to Collection