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Brandon Court House and Jail

525 Victoria Avenue East, Brandon, Manitoba, R7A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/04/10

View of the cornice and brickwork detail on the Brandon Court House, Brandon, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Cornice and Brickwork Detail
View from the northeast elevation of the Brandon Court House and Jail, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Northeast Elevation
View of the north side door detail on the Brandon Court House and Jail, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Detail

Other Name(s)

Ancien établissement de correction de Brandon
Brandon Correctional Institute
Brandon Court House and Jail
Rideau Park Personal Care Home

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1883/01/01 to 1883/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/10/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Brandon Court House and Jail, a handsome Italianate-inspired brick structure built in 1883, is a provincially designated site. Perched impressively on a piece of land with an expansive view of the northerly Assiniboine River valley, the renovated court house-jail is now a dominant feature of Rideau Park Personal Care Home, an adjoining modern low-rise complex that faces south to Victoria Avenue, a major Brandon thoroughfare. The site's designation applies to the 2 1/2-storey court house and the parcel of land on which it sits.

Heritage Value

The grand Brandon Court House and Jail, with its fine Italianate detailing and intricate brickwork, is the oldest remaining court house on the Prairies. Built as the headquarters of the newly created Western Judicial District, this facility cemented Brandon's importance as a major regional centre in Manitoba. The sturdy structure, designed by C. Osborn Wickenden, proved well-adapted to its roles over the decades, being remodelled solely for jail use in 1910 and serving as a detention centre until 1979. It continues in institutional use, its lofty second-floor courtroom now functioning as meeting space for the Rideau Park Personal Care Home.

Source: Manitoba Heritage Council Building Screening Committee Minutes, April 10, 1984

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the site include:
- placement of the structure at the northwest corner of Victoria Avenue and Franklin Street in Brandon's east end, facing Rideau Park and the Assiniboine River valley to the north

Key elements of the external Italianate character of the Brandon Court House and Jail include:
- the symmetrical form and square plan, executed in brick and stone, and given vertical emphasis through a raised basement, low-pitched truncated hip roof, two-storey frontispiece, projecting two-storey side bays topped by pediments, and five prominent brick chimneys with corbelled caps
- multiple segmental- and round-arched windows, including a large semi-circular opening in the second floor of the frontispiece, highlighted by decorative stone- and brickwork, all topped by a pressed metal pediment
- the formal classical ornamentation, including the rusticated base; attached corner pilasters; paired pilasters between the front second-storey windows; a rusticated stone band that wraps around the front and sides, and a brick belt course that extends around all elevations; voussoirs, keystones and corbelled brickwork above windows and doors; a continuous cornice with brick-corbelled dentils; etc.

Key elements that recall the building's original functions include:
- the west-side doorway with a limestone pediment that displays Manitoba's crest and the words 'PROVINCIAL GAOL' (an English spelling of 'Jail'), and the second-floor courtroom with its high coffered ceiling

Key elements that define the internal character of the building include:
- the main-floor central hall with a 2.44-metre-wide vestibule and the oak and walnut staircase

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Manitoba

Recognition Authority

Province of Manitoba

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Heritage Site

Recognition Date

1985/04/10

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1910/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Health and Research
Hospital or Other Health Care Institution

Historic

Government
Correctional Facility
Government
Courthouse and/or Registry Office

Architect / Designer

C. Osborn Wickenden

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Main Floor, 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg MB R3B 1N3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

P015

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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