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Federal Building

1975 Scarth Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/12/11

Exterior photo; (Public Archives of Canada Photo, PA 124656, 1936.)
Exterior photo
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/01/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Set in downtown Regina, the distinctive Federal Building is prominently situated at an intersection opposite Victoria Park. The four-storey stone and brick building presents a stepped back, geometric mass with a flat-roof and prominent central tower. The recessed main entrance is emphasized by the vertical bank of windows rising above to the full height of the building. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

This four storey Art Deco building with four storey central tower was erected on a geographically prominent and historically noteworthy corner site. Flanked by the provincial court house to the east and facing Victoria Park, Regina's only downtown green space, to the west, it joined a number of other architecturally prestigious or civically important buildings erected around the park after 1907. The balanced geometric massing of the building is typical of the Art Deco although rendered here in a squat and boxy form. Much of its basic exterior decorative detail is on the main entrance where bronze door frames and doors provide access to a carefully detailed main lobby and stairwell lighted by a vertical bank of windows rising the full height of the main building. This lobby is enriched by bronze elevator doors, marble and terrazo work and carved fluted colums, while the bronze fitting of the main entryway are echoed by the bronze frames of the ground floor windows. These items and other decorative detailing, reinforce the overall stylistic character of the building, while its visual profile is enhanced by the four storey central tower which nearly doubles overall height.

Built as a part of a nation-wide Depression program to create employment and improve and consolidate the accommodation of federal government services, this modestly scaled and inexpensively decorated structure was erected on a prominent and prestigious site. Arguably, the trial and sentencing of Louis Riel in a federal courtroom located there in 1885 is of broader national significance than anything else that happened there since that time.

In 1962, the Federal Building was overshadowed by the construction of the 14 storey Saskatchewan Power Building directly across Victoria Avenue to the south. In the mid-1960s it was boxed-in to its immediate east when the old three storey court house adjacent to it was replaced by a high rise office tower. As a result, the Regina Federal Building today is much less visually prominent that it was upon its completion. It remains however, a widely identified hallmark of the Governrrent of Canada's presence in a city where federal services are otherwise housed in aesthetically non descript or anonymous rented premises.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Federal Building in Regina should be respected.

Its Art Deco style and good quality materials and craftsmanship, for example:
-the balanced geometric massing of the flat roofed structure with its four storey central tower;
-the stone and brick-faced walls and the strong vertical accent of the bank of windows rising to the full height of the main building;
-the regular placement of the windows, and the bronze window frames of the ground floor windows;
-the bronze doors and doorframes of the main entrance, the interior, with its detailed lobby including bronze elevator doors, marble and terrazzo work and carved fluted columns.

The manner in which the Federal Building reinforces the business centre of downtown Regina and is a prominent local landmark as evidenced by:
-the Art Deco style that harmonizes with surrounding and adjacent federal government service and commercial structures;
-its materials, proportions, massing and central location facing Victoria Park, that makes an architectural contribution to the streetscape, and makes it a well- known landmark within the community.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Office or office building

Architect / Designer

Francis Portnall



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Heritage Directorate Documentation Centre 3rd Floor, room 366 30 Victoria Street Gatineau, Québec J8X 0B3

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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