Canada Life Assurance Building
Canada Life Assurance Building
Saskatchewan Government Insurance Office
Links and documents
1912/01/01 to 1914/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Canada Life Assurance Building is Provincial Heritage Property occupying one end of a business block in downtown Regina. The property features a six storey, terra-cotta faced office building constructed in 1914.
The heritage value of the Canada Life Assurance Building lies in its association with the insurance industry in Saskatchewan. From 1914 to 1947, the building served as the Saskatchewan headquarters for the Ontario-based Canada Life Assurance Company. In 1946 Saskatchewan Government Insurance Office (SGIO), the first government-owned insurance company in Canada, established their head office in the building. SGIO purchased the building in 1947and maintained their head office in the building until 1979.
The heritage value of the building also resides in its architecture. The second tallest building in Regina at the time of its construction in 1914, the Canada Life Assurance Building projected prosperity, prestige and stability, images desired by the insurance industry. Featuring an ornate white terra-cotta façade, the building was designed by the prominent Montreal architectural firm of Brown and Vallance in the Gothic Revival style with influences from the Chicago School. The most substantial representative of the style in Saskatchewan, the building is very similar to two other structures designed by Brown and Vallance during the period, the Canada Life Assurance Building (Hollingsworth Building) in Calgary, and the Whalen Building in Thunder Bay.
Letter from Jim Benning, Acting Deputy Minister, Department of Culture and Youth to Honorable Ned Shillington, Department of Culture and Youth, March 31, 1978.
The heritage value of the Canada Life Assurance Building resides in the following character-defining elements:
- Those elements which reflect the Gothic Revival style of architecture, including the vertical piers flanking recessed window bays topped by rounded arches and the ornate shields, floral motifs and other decorative elements on the façade
- The ornate terra cotta façade
- Those elements which reflect the Chicago School of architecture, including the terra-cotta façade, regular window arrangement, boldly projecting cornice and vertical emphasis.
- Those elements which reflect the use of the building as an insurance office, including signage and fixtures.
- Those elements which reflect the prestigious nature of the original office building, including flooring material, staircase, fixtures and ceilings.
Government of Saskatchewan
Heritage Property Act, s. 39(1)
Provincial Heritage Property
1946/01/01 to 1979/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
Architect / Designer
Brown and Vallance
R.J. Lecky and Co. Ltd.
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Conservation Branch,
Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport,
3211 Albert Street,
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 5W6
Cross-Reference to Collection