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Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House

510 Varennes Street, Wolseley, Saskatchewan, S0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/11/22

Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House; Government of Saskatchewan, Calvin Fehr, 2004
Front elevation
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Other Name(s)

Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House
Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House
Fire Hall / Library - Wolseley

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1906/01/01 to 1907/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/02/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House is a Provincial Heritage Property located on three lots at 510 Varennes Street in the Town of Wolseley. The large brick and fieldstone building was constructed between 1906 and 1907.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Wolseley Town Hall/Opera house lies in its status as a unique representation of the town hall/opera houses built across the province during the early twentieth century. Once numbering nineteen, the town hall/opera houses were symbols of prosperity and modernity in Saskatchewan during the period. The large size of the building underscores the optimism of the pre-World War I boom period and the town’s expectation of significant growth in the future. The building served a multipurpose function for the town including town office, fire hall, library, and a community hall. The hall served as the town’s cultural centre, provided a place for traveling actors to perform and was later fitted with a screen to show movies. The building is still utilized by the town as a local hall, continuing the community function it has served since 1907.

Heritage value of the property also lies in its architecture. The building was designed by prominent Manitoba architect J.H.G. Russell, and is one of only three properties he built in Saskatchewan. The Town Hall/Opera House is built in a church-like style exhibiting the influence of Italian Baroque architecture. The tall proportions, steeply pitched roof, grand front entrance, scroll buttresses and large central bell tower all speak to the resemblance of the building to a baroque church.

Heritage value lies in the unique layout of the Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House. Unlike other town hall/opera houses in Saskatchewan, the Wolseley building features the hall on the main level, over the municipal office, which is housed in the raised basement and the fire hall situated at the rear of the building.

Sources:

Province of Saskatchewan, Notice of Intention to Designate as Provincial Heritage Property under the Heritage Property Act, April 3, 1991.

Province of Saskatchewan, Order to Designation as Provincial Heritage Property under the Heritage Property Act, November 22, 1991.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements that reflect the multi-use nature of the property, such as the multiple entrances, signage and building layout;
-elements that reflect the building’s use as a community hall, such as the entrance way, bell tower, the hall stage and the balcony;
-elements that reflect the building’s former use as a fire hall, such as the hose tower, fire hall entrance and signage;
-those elements that reflect the building's unique church-like style, such as the dormer window, exterior scroll buttresses, gable roof and scroll buttresses;
-those elements that reflect the unique layout of the building, such as the hall entrance at the front of the building and the fire hall/town office entrance at the rear.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Saskatchewan

Recognition Authority

Government of Saskatchewan

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 39(1)

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Property

Recognition Date

1991/11/22

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub

Historic

Community
Town

Architect / Designer

Russell, J.H.G.

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: PHP 1280

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

PHP 1280

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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