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Federal Building

1870 South Main Street, Westville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/12/22

Post office, Westville, Nova Scotia; built 1908.; (Public Works Canada 1986.)
Front view
Post office, Westville, Nova Scotia; built 1908. Side View.; (Public Works Canada 1986.)
War Memorial, Westville, Nova Scotia.; (Public Works Canada.)
From the street

Other Name(s)

Federal Building
Post Office
Bureau de poste

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/02/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Federal Building in Westville is a small, rectangular structure built to a standard, departmental plan ornamented with Beaux Arts features. Its front façade features a symmetrical arrangement of bays with semi-circular and rectangular windows and a pedimented main entrance. The building is distinguished by an elaborate cornice defining the roofline. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Federal Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Federal Building is associated with the expansion of federal government presence throughout the country, which reached a peak between the years 1900 and 1913. The Federal Building also stands as a reminder of the pre-war era, a peak period in Westville’s economic history.

Architectural Value
The Federal Building is a good example of a small, standard plan, post office erected during the era of David Ewart’s tenure as Chief Architect. Of modest Beaux-Arts design, it is distinguished by the symmetry and classical features of its facades. Its very good functional design is evidenced in its adherence to specifications in accordance with departmental standards, such as its brick construction and stone basement as well as its disposition of interior space with pedestrian access and public use of the ground floor.

Environmental Value
The Federal Building is compatible with the present character of its downtown commercial setting and is significant landmark in its local setting.

Leslie Maitland, Post Office, Westville, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 86-042; Post Office, Westville, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 86-042.

Character-Defining Elements

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

Its standard plan and modest Beaux-Arts style, functional design and good craftsmanship,for example:
-its modest, two-storey, rectangular massing which consists of a symmetrical, five bay wide structure, with a flat roof and an elaborate cornice that defines the roofline;
-its brick construction with stone dressing and stone basement;
-its front façade, which consists of a symmetrical arrangement of windows around a central main entrance, ornamented by applied pilasters, radiating voussoirs, semi-circular windows on the lower floor, rectangular windows on the upper floor and pediment surmounting the main entrance.

The manner in which the Federal Building is compatible with the character of its downtown commercial setting and is local landmark, as evidenced by:
-its standard plan and Beaux-Arts style which harmonizes with the streetscape and contributes to the downtown commercial area of Westville;
-its locally, well-known association with the history of Westville, and its public use which makes it significant within the local 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



Post Office

Architect / Designer

David Ewart



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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