Orr Law Office
W. R. Orr Heritage Building
Union Bank of Canada
Royal Bank of Canada
Bank of Montreal
Burnett & Orr Law Office
Links and documents
1910/01/01 to 1910/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Orr Law Office, also known as the “W.R. Orr Heritage Building,” is a Municipal Heritage Property located in the Town of Maple Creek at 114 Jasper Street, the town’s principal commercial thoroughfare. The property features a two-storey, stucco covered brick veneer building that was constructed in 1910.
The heritage value of the Orr Law Office lies in its past role in the development of banking and legal services in Maple Creek. Banking services were provided from the building for over forty years, first by the Union Bank of Canada, which was absorbed by the Royal Bank of Canada in 1925, and, finally, by the Bank of Montreal from 1932 until 1952. In 1917, J.W. Thompson, established Maple Creek’s second law practice in a suite of rooms on the building’s upper floor. In 1949, these offices were taken over by W.R. Orr, a partner of Arthur Burnett, Maple Creek’s first resident lawyer and one of the first lawyers to practise in the region. When the Bank of Montreal vacated the building in 1952, Burnett and Orr purchased it and consolidated their offices on the ground floor. The building continued as the Burnett and Orr Law Office (following Mr. Burnett’s retirement, simply as the W.R. Orr Law Office) until Mr. Orr’s death in 2005, by which time the firm was one of the oldest continuously operating law practices in rural Saskatchewan.
Further heritage value resides in the building’s architecture and its contribution to Maple Creek’s downtown streetscape. The building’s form and massing project an air of strength and stability, while details such as the pedimented façade and round arched windows and entranceway add a touch of prestige, all qualities appropriate to a bank. As the community’s only purpose built bank from the pre-World War I era, the building is a prominent and valued downtown landmark that speaks to the community’s history and development.
Town of Maple Creek Bylaw No. 2006-MC-17.
Southwestern Saskatchewan Oldtimers’ Museum & Archives Heritage Value Statement, 2006.
The heritage value of the Orr Law Office resides in the following character-defining elements:
-elements that reflect the building’s role as an early bank, including the pressed tin ceiling; surviving woodwork, such as mouldings, doors and reception desk; the vault; the foyer clock mounted in its original position; the configuration of the bank manager’s office, including the door and casing; and the layout of the upstairs rooms that were used to house bank staff;
-elements that represent the building’s use as a law office, including the partition walls that reconfigured the ground floor for use by the Burnett and Orr law firm; the institutional yellow and green paint scheme and acoustic ceiling tile that are characteristic of the 1950s; the floor-to-ceiling bookcase that was installed in the former bank manager’s office; and the layout of the upstairs rooms that were used as law offices, including the glass-panelled door that opened to the law office suite;
-architectural elements that contribute to the building’s prominence on the downtown streetscape, including its form and massing; stepped side parapets; low-pitched pediment and cornices; the recessed, rounded arch window openings on the façade and the window sills, wooden casings and window pane pattern; and the recessed, arched entranceway with “1910” embossed above the arch.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
1910/01/01 to 1952/12/31
1952/01/01 to 2005/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK
File: MHP 2338
Cross-Reference to Collection