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Government of Canada Building

340 Front Street, Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1999/10/22

View of Government of Canada Building (GOCB) showing the northeast façade from Front Street.; Public Works and Government Services Canada / Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada.
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1955/01/01 to 1956/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/06/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Government of Canada Building is located in the downtown mixed commercial/ governmental and residential area of Pictou. Designed in the International Style it is comprised of cubic volumes which feature large areas of solid, flat brick wall with glazed and panel areas framed by slim bands of granite. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

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

Historical Value
The Government of Canada Building in Pictou is associated with the continuing expansion of the federal government and its services following the Second World War.

Architectural Value
The Government of Canada Building in Pictou is a good example of the use of the International Style in Canada as it evolved through the late 1950s and the early 1960s. This adaptation of the International Style is characterized by cubic volumes, curtain-wall framing in-filled with glass and spandrel panels, minimal applied decoration and a preference for new technologies and machine made materials. The Government of Canada Building follows the standard layout developed by the Department of Public Works in the early 1950s for combined function, (post office and office space) and provides functional and discrete spaces for different government departments. It exhibits the standard construction materials and finishes for Government of Canada Buildings.

Environmental Value
The Government of Canada Building in Pictou is compatible with the character of its central business district setting. It is a highly visible and well known city landmark.

Sources: Government of Canada, 340 Front Street, Pictou, Nova Scotia, Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 98-035; Government of Canada Building, Pictou, Nova Scotia, Heritage Character Statement, 98-035.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Government of Canada Building in Pictou should be respected.

Its International Style, functional design and good craftsmanship, for example:
-the simple cubic volumes whose façades are composed of an abstracted arrangement of solids and voids which include broad, unrelieved expanses of masonry and light, and exposed framing with glass and panel in-fill;
-the use of poured concrete foundations, concrete floors, structural steel frames, brick veneer, and curtain-wall framing with glass and enamel panelling;
-the open, public spaces delineated by glazed areas, framed by slim bands of granite.

The manner in which the Government of Canada Building in Pictou is compatible with the character of its central business district setting and is a city landmark, as evidenced by:
-its adaptation of the International Style, which harmonizes with the adjacent mixture of late 19th- and early 20th- century small buildings interspersed with low rise modern structures;
-its profile within the community as a public building and its visibility vis-à-vis its prominent central location on a corner lot, all of which contribute to its status as a landmark in Pictou.




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

Department of Public Works



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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