Description of Historic Place
The Chapel, also known as Building 13 and the Chapel-Mess Hall, is located adjacent to the Barracks Square at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Depot Division in Regina, Saskatchewan. It is a long, gable-roofed wooden structure with a steepled entry tower on its northern end. The plain exterior features an arched entrance on the main façade and regularly arranged tall, pointed windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Chapel is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Chapel is an exceptional example of a building strongly associated with the early presence of the RCMP in Regina (then known as the North West Mounted Police (NWMP)). Constructed as a mess hall in 1883 and converted into a chapel in 1895, it is the only structural reminder of the aggregation of wood-framed buildings erected to house the new Regina headquarters of the force in 1882-1883. As it is the oldest known building subsisting in Regina and a component of the oldest surviving mounted police facility, the Chapel remains one of the best examples illustrating the arrival of the NWMP in Regina, a turning point in the city’s history.
The Chapel is valued for its good aesthetic qualities with a modest exterior that is complimented by a humble, unadorned interior. Good functional design is evident in its clear spatial organization and its continued use as a religious facility. The simple stained glass windows exhibit its very good craftsmanship and materials.
The Chapel reinforces the present character of the Depot Division, as it is the only structure which relates directly to its founding. The prominently sited Chapel, facing directly into the Barracks Square, retained its historical relationship with its evolving military setting. Due to its unique function and its familiarity in the region, it symbolizes the RCMP Depot Division's wide national functional identity as the home and training centre of the RCMP.
Sources: I. Saunders, RCMP Building 13, Chapel-Mess, Regina, Saskatchewan, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 86-022; RCMP Building 13, Chapel-Mess, Regina, Saskatchewan, Heritage Character Statement, 86-022.
The character-defining elements of the Chapel should be respected.
Its good aesthetic and functional design, and very good craftsmanship and materials, as evidenced by:
- the small massing with a gable roof and a steepled tower on the north side;
- the regularly spaced fenestration;
- the centrally placed arched doorway on the main façade;
- its restored interior of humble appearance, notably its rustic wooden pews, its dedicated stained glass windows and the many memorial plaques dotting the walls.
The manner in which the Chapel reinforces the present character of RCMP Depot Division and is a symbol to the region, as evidenced by:
- its ongoing relationship to the Barracks Square and the surrounding landscape and plant materials (trees and shrubs);
- its prominent siting, most important since it is the only structure which relates directly to the founding of the Depot Division;
- its continued use as a religious institution;
- its familiarity to RCMP personnel, visitors and residents of Regina as a distinctive heritage landmark as.