Author Topic: Fates of former armouries  (Read 62907 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pbi

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 52,725
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,962
Fates of former armouries
« on: July 31, 2013, 10:44:48 »
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?

Cheers
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Humphrey Bogart

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 120,829
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,252
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 10:55:59 »
The North Shore Regiment's old armoury in Bathurst, NB.  The government built them a brand new one in the 90's



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:

« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 10:59:26 by RoyalDrew »

Offline pbi

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 52,725
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,962
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 11:41:11 »
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.



The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Old Sweat

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 220,205
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,863
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 11:50:43 »
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.

Offline E.R. Campbell

  • Retired, years ago
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 487,985
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,404
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 12:13:25 »
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?



The St. Lawrence Swordfighters Guild   :-\  says it was the "old fire hall."
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
Like what you see/read here on Army.ca?  Subscribe, and help keep it "on the air!"

Offline pbi

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 52,725
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,962
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 12:37:07 »
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.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline jpjohnsn

  • Member
  • ****
  • 8,100
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 139
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 12:40:00 »
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
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 13:29:38 by jpjohnsn »
"Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est sempre esse puerum" - "To be ignorant of what occured before you were born is to remain always a child" - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Offline Old Sweat

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 220,205
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 7,863
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 12:51:25 »
Is this the building?



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.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 120,829
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,252
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 12:53:29 »
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.

Offline E.R. Campbell

  • Retired, years ago
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 487,985
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,404
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 12:55:27 »
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: and this look like it.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
Like what you see/read here on Army.ca?  Subscribe, and help keep it "on the air!"

Offline pbi

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 52,725
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,962
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 13:10:59 »
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.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline pbi

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 52,725
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,962
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2013, 13:50:41 »
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 -
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 14:02:33 by milnews.ca »
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline BernDawg

  • Wood Butcher
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 11,695
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 999
  • Retired... workin' harder than ever!
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 15:32:47 »
Interesting thread. I stumbled across this as I was looking for a hotel in London ON for a forum I was planning on attending.


There is more info here:
https://www.deltahotels.com/Hotels/Delta-London-Armouries-Hotel
"We can't all be heroes... because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."  Will Rogers
Someone has to be last.  At least if it's me I know where all the assholes are.

Offline pbi

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 52,725
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,962
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 16:45:04 »
Cool. How well have they preserved the armoury theme?
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline AmmoTech90

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 49,480
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,103
    • Catching Bullets
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 17:21:44 »
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.
Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabris, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.

The fragrance of Afghanistan
Rewards a long day's toil
A Passage to Bangkok- Rush

Offline E.R. Campbell

  • Retired, years ago
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 487,985
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,404
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2013, 17:42:27 »
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:

      
Top row: Circa 1959 - when Ottawa still had streetcars & The heritage plaque
Bottom row: Wallis House today
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
Like what you see/read here on Army.ca?  Subscribe, and help keep it "on the air!"

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 207,115
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,467
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2013, 19:00:32 »
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline Fishbone Jones

    MSC -7245.

  • "Some people will only like you if you fit inside their box. Don't be afraid to shove that box up their ass."
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 281,362
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,683
    • Army.ca
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2013, 19:24:13 »
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

« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 19:30:00 by recceguy »
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 195,720
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,741
  • Freespeecher
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2013, 19:54:12 »
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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline FormerHorseGuard

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 12,135
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 546
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2013, 19:59:04 »
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.

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 207,115
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,467
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2013, 23:09:34 »
I wanted to put in a picture of the first armoury I paraded at when I joined the 7th Toronto Regiment back in 1965. They had just moved everyone out of the old University Avenue Armouries and put us into a temporary armoury at 87 Richmond Street East until the Moss Park Armouries were built.

Unfortunately its a car park lot now  :'(
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline pbi

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 52,725
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,962
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2013, 07:46:51 »
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.

This is an increasingly common problem with old armouries. There was a surge in armoury construction in the years immediately preceding WWI, with the result that we still have a large stock of buildings that are now 100 years old, or older.

When I was with 38 CBG (2002-2005) we had two armouries in Winnipeg that were seriously showing their age. The FGH armoury in the old North End was actually settling and cracking in half (a common problem for old buildings in Winnipeg as in some places there is no bedrock for nearly 200 feet) and the much larger Minto Armoury in the old West End was developing all sorts of structural and sysetmic problems. AFAIK, both are still in use. (rifleman can confirm this)


What is really amazing is how private purchasers are able to buy these from PW&GSC and actually turn them into functional, useful and safe structures. It must be an expensive undertaking.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline FusMR

  • Member
  • ****
  • 2,810
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 167
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2013, 08:53:01 »
This is now & then of different armory FMR got

Marché Bonsecour today.  We where there around 1880.



The current armory brand new, 1910



Today


Offline Rheostatic

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 263,801
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 499
  • Don't shoot the messenger
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2013, 09:01:06 »
What unit worked there?
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.

Offline Canadian.Trucker

  • Roadrunner Actual
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 12,449
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 574
    • G&SF Website
Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2013, 09:36:05 »
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
Sadly the future of the museum is in question, so if anyone is swinging through Barrie please drop in.
Hours of operation:
May through November

Wednesday to Friday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Website - http://thegreyandsimcoeforesters.org/jsite/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78&Itemid=72
Tenacious and Versatile-G & SF

"Nevermind, I'll do it myself" - Me

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
- George Orwell