Description of Historic Place
The Minto Armoury is a large, red brick structure located in the west end of Winnipeg. Its Tudor-Revival style, exemplified by sturdy, crenellated corner towers and low arched entrances provide the fortress motif and are characteristic features of the building. Armouries, lecture rooms and administration offices surround the large drill hall. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Minto Armoury is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Minto Armoury is associated with the provision of drill halls for the active volunteer Militia in Canada specifically under Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence from 1911 to 1916. He expedited the program of armoury construction initiated by Frederick Borden. In the interest of reducing costs, he turned over the design of the majority of armouries to his Engineering Services Branch, leaving only Class ‘’A’’ armouries in the hands of the Department of Public Works. The Winnipeg Armoury is one of the few designed by the latter under his auspices.
The Minto Armoury is a very good example of the Tudor Revival style as evidenced by its sturdy towers and low arched entrance. The fortress motifs, characteristic of Canadian armouries, are featured in the crenellations and towers. The unobstructed interior of the drill hall exhibits very good functional design. This design was typical of architect Thomas Fuller’s work and exemplifies the monumental massing of his later designs.
The Minto Armoury occupies the end of a block and reinforces the residential character of its community setting where it is a local landmark.
Sources: Armoury, CFB Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report, 90-061; Armoury, CFB Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Heritage Character Statement, 90-061.
The following character-defining elements of the Minto Armoury should be respected.
Its Tudor Revival style and fortress motif, very good functional design, and very good
craftsmanship, for example:
-the monumental scale and massing consisting of sturdy, square corner towers, a
two storey gate tower and a low arched entrance leading to a large drill hall;
-the steel truss structural system that spans the large, uninterrupted space of the drill hall;
-the exterior materials such as the red brick and white stone accents, and the decorative
detailing which contribute a decorative element to the buildings fortress like appearance
including the rusticated stone foundation and the medieval detailing such as string courses, crenellations, and window dressings in stone;
-the symmetrical arrangement of the numerous window openings.
The manner in which the building reinforces the character of its residential neighbourhood setting and is a local landmark as evidenced by:
-its Tudor Revival style, medieval motifs and materials which harmonizes with its
-its visibility and familiarity given its large scale, prominent location and well known
historical associations within the community.
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection