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Town Hall/Opera House

510 Varennes Street, Wolseley, Saskatchewan, S0G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/10/23

Front façade of building from South.; Government of Saskatchewan, Brett Quiring, 2004
Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House
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Other Name(s)

Town Hall/Opera House
Wolseley Fire Hall

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1906/01/01 to 1907/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

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

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Wolseley Town Hall/Opera House lies in its use as a community building. The building served as the town's multi-purpose facility, including town office, fire hall, library, and a community hall. 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 was used as the town office until 1964 and as a fire hall and town library until 1989. The hall served as the town’s cultural centre, providing 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.

Source:

Town of Wolseley Bylaw No. 8-89.

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 formal entrances, signage and building layout;
-those elements that reflect the building’s use as a community hall, such as the grand staircase and entrance way, bell tower, stage and the balcony;
-those elements that reflect the building’s former use as a fire hall, such as the hose tower, fire hall entrance and sign;
-those elements that reflect the building's unique church-like style, such as the dormer window, its exterior buttresses and its gable roof and scroll buttresses.
-those elements which reflect the communities optimism during the pre-World War 1 period, including the large scale and irregular form of the building and the brick exterior.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Saskatchewan

Recognition Authority

Government of Saskatchewan

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 39(1)

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Property

Recognition Date

1989/10/23

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

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: MHP 1280

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 1280

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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