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Fates of former armouries

pbi

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As I've travelled and lived around the country, I've occasionally run across structures (usually, but not always, in smaller towns) that quite obviously were once armouries. Today these buildings serve diverse purposes ranging from community centre to theatre to fire hall.
While former CF bases are pretty well covered on the internet at places like Abandoned Bases, I haven't seen much on former armouries.

I'm aware of several in Ontario:

-Durham ON ;
-Meaford ON;
-London ON
-Gananoque ON (former RCA Bty); and
Picton ON (former Hast&PER Coy)

I believe that most of these were former coy/sqn/bty locations that fell victim to the drastic cuts to outlying sub-units that happened around the Unification era.

Are you aware of any in your area? What unit occupied them, and what are they used for today?

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Humphrey Bogart

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The North Shore Regiment's old armoury in Bathurst, NB.  The government built them a brand new one in the 90's

bathurst_new_brunswick_n0wak.jpg


This building later sat empty for a number of years, then became an outdoor/backpacking store.  It is now used by the city as an HQ for their local summer festival every year.

Another photo:

color.gif
 

pbi

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Was it originally built as an armoury? I ask because it looks a lot like the pattern of Post Office buildings that were constructed around the first quarter of the 20th century: especially the clock tower.



 

Old Sweat

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The armoury in Kemptville, Ontario served as the local fire hall after the battery was disbanded in one of the force cuts in the sixties. With the construction of a new fire hall the building has been put to use by the local Sea Cadet Corps.

The building was used for a memorial service for Private Blake Williamson, 1 RCR, who was killed in Afghanistan in October 2006.
 

Edward Campbell

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Old Sweat said:
The armoury in Kemptville, Ontario served as the local fire hall after the battery was disbanded in one of the force cuts in the sixties. With the construction of a new fire hall the building has been put to use by the local Sea Cadet Corps.

The building was used for a memorial service for Private Blake Williamson, 1 RCR, who was killed in Afghanistan in October 2006.

Is this the building?

armoury-01.jpg


The St. Lawrence Swordfighters Guild  :-\  says it was the "old fire hall."
 

pbi

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The former armoury in Gananoque is almost identical: it was also a Bty armoury. It later became the town fire hall, with the apparatus doors cut into the long face of the structure rather than on the end as in Kemptville. When the town built a new fire hall, the building became part of the Gananoque Theatre, which it still is.
 

jpjohnsn

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The Courthouse in Midland Ontario used to be an armoury used by the "C" Sqn Grey and Simcoe Foresters (RCAC).  Even though the G&SF stopped being armoured  - and pulled out of town - well before I ever moved to Midland, I do distinctly recall a Sherman Tank behind the building in the late 70s when I was checking out the air cadets.  The building became the Midland Civic Centre (which housed the Air and Sea Cadet units in town) until it was remodelled to be the courthouse.

here it is on Google Streetviewhttp://goo.gl/maps/OqXoJ

Speaking of G&SF, their original drill shed in downtown Barrie is now the Regimental Museum after being a farmer's market, youth drop-in centre, and MPP constituency office. 

Again, on streetview http://goo.gl/maps/ac9LI
 

Old Sweat

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E.R. Campbell said:
Is this the building?

armoury-01.jpg


The St. Lawrence Swordfighters Guild  :-\  says it was the "old fire hall."

That is it. Most of the space is taken up by floor which in earlier times served for parades and inspections, and then became parking for the volunteer fire department's vehicles.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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pbi said:
Was it originally built as an armoury? I ask because it looks a lot like the pattern of Post Office buildings that were constructed around the first quarter of the 20th century: especially the clock tower.

pbi you are correct!  It was originally built as a post office but turned into an armoury, I wll try and confirm when the unit took possession of it.
 

Edward Campbell

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pbi said:
The former armoury in Gananoque is almost identical: it was also a Bty armoury. It later became the town fire hall, with the apparatus doors cut into the long face of the structure rather than on the end as in Kemptville. When the town built a new fire hall, the building became part of the Gananoque Theatre, which it still is.


This:
images
and this
Firehall_theatre_gananoque.gif
look like it.
 

pbi

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That's it: you beat me to it (As per my PM). The entrance of the theatre is one of the apparatus doors of the fire hall version, suitably modified. 

The armoury was home to 3rd Field Bty, RCA NPAM (in 1939 part of 9th Fd Bde, RCA NPAM) until disbandment. It looks like there was a standard pattern for a sub-unit armoury, as the old one in Meaford (behind the Town Hall, next to the old fire hall: now part of a store) was for "B" Coy/G&SF.
 

pbi

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Wikipedia provides an article with list of armouries across Canada (although some of the info is wrong: the old Cobourg Armoury was never the home of the Hast&PER: it was an RCA armoury)

The list is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_armouries_in_Canada

- mod edit to fix link -
 

BernDawg

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Interesting thread. I stumbled across this as I was looking for a hotel in London ON for a forum I was planning on attending.
LON-Exterior_tbe_hotel_gallery.jpg


There is more info here:
https://www.deltahotels.com/Hotels/Delta-London-Armouries-Hotel
 

pbi

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Cool. How well have they preserved the armoury theme?
 

AmmoTech90

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Wallis House at the end of Rideau Street in Ottawa was an armoury from the fifties/sixties until the early nineties.  It is now condos.  Prior to being an armoury it was social housing, a flop house, barracks, a seminary, and started out as a hospital.  When I paraded there it was occupied by 28 Svc Bn and 763 (Ottawa) Comm Regt.  The linemen occupied a tiny room in the basement that had around a foot high block at the bottom of the door you had to step over.  Apparently the room had been the morgue when it was a hospital.

Interesting fact, during the Turkish Embassy hostage incident police were positioned in the attic as you could see the Embassy from up there.
 

Edward Campbell

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AmmoTech90 said:
Wallis House at the end of Rideau Street in Ottawa was an armoury from the fifties/sixties until the early nineties.  It is now condos.  Prior to being an armoury it was social housing, a flop house, barracks, a seminary, and started out as a hospital.  When I paraded there it was occupied by 28 Svc Bn and 763 (Ottawa) Comm Regt.  The linemen occupied a tiny room in the basement that had around a foot high block at the bottom of the door you had to step over.  Apparently the room had been the morgue when it was a hospital.

Interesting fact, during the Turkish Embassy hostage incident police were positioned in the attic as you could see the Embassy from up there.


A few pictures of Wallis House:

streetcar-4754-05.jpg
 
OttWallisHouseSign.jpg
 
87.jpg

Top row: Circa 1959 - when Ottawa still had streetcars & The heritage plaque
Bottom row: Wallis House today
 

Fishbone Jones

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The old Windsor Armoury. Housed The Windsor Regiment (RCAC), The Essex & Kent Scottish and 21 Service Battalion. We moved out in October 2004 and relocated to the Major F A Tilston, V C Armoury and Police Training Centre. It's a joint facility that we share with the Windsor Police. There's a rappel tower, a kill house (simunition), a 100 mtr outdoor range (that DND still hasn't approved after ten years  ::) ) and a 25 mtr indoor range (that they may be able to use again if the 4 Div HQ can ever get around to resubmitting the expired MOU with the city  ::) ). Three messes, each unit has their own office lines, RQM and SQ (CQ) stores, shared drill deck, dirty work area, a unified OR with each unit providing their own clerks and a large vehicle compound, as well as a large parking lot in front for parade nights.

The old armoury was given to the city in a land swap deal and has now been ceded to the University of Windsor who will revamp it for their visual arts and music programs. http://www.dcnonl.com/article/id46635

 

a_majoor

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The military theme of London, ON's "Delta armouries" hotel extends only as far as the exterior facade.

If I remember correctly, one of the reasons the Armouries was abandoned was the interior was not up to any sort of modern building standard or fire code, so the building sat empty for many years until the hotel company bought the property, gutted the interior and built the hotel inside the shell.
 

FormerHorseGuard

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The former Amouries in Renfrew, Ontario is now home to the fodo bank and is rental hall and is owned by the local fair board.
 
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