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North Park Armoury rehabilitation project in Halifax

OceanBonfire

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May 2, 2019 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, our government is investing in modern, functional, and green defence infrastructure to support the evolving needs of our military.

Today, the Honourable Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan participated in a stone-breaking ceremony to mark the start of the west wall reconstruction at the historic North Park Armoury in Halifax. He was joined by Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. Valued at $130 million, this project represents an important investment in Reserve infrastructure in the Halifax area, and is expected to create approximately 400 jobs during the rehabilitation.

This project will rehabilitate the structure of the North Park Armoury, which was damaged during the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Interior renovations will also help to modernize operational capabilities for Reserve units operating out of the armoury. Work for this project is ongoing, and is expected to be completed by 2026.


Quick facts

- Originally built in 1899, the North Park Armoury is one of the largest and most prominent landmarks in the Halifax area, having sheltered residents in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion in 1917.

- The North Park Armoury is a federally-designated heritage building and a National Historic Site of Canada. Rehabilitation work will protect and enhance its key heritage features, and use original stones where possible. Irreparable stones will be replaced by stone from the same geological source used to build the armoury from 1895 to1899.

- The North Park Armoury is home to the Princess Louise Fusiliers, one Army cadet corps, and future home of the Halifax Rifles (Royal Canadian Armoured Corps).

- A contract valued at $9.1 million was awarded to Maxim Construction Inc. of Dartmouth, N.S., for the phase one reconstruction of the west wall of the armoury. Phase two renovation work is expected to begin in early 2021, and will see the restoration of the remaining three exterior walls, the renovation of the drill hall roof, and interior renovations which will meet the requirements of the Canadian Army Reserve units that use the building.

- Upgrades to the armoury’s interior will be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver standards, and will incorporate energy efficiency measures to reduce its environmental footprint. 

- As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, green infrastructure will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Department’s buildings and non-military vehicles by 40 percent (from 2005 levels) by 2030, and support the new federal emissions reduction target of 80 percent by 2050.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=314674215880682

https://www.facebook.com/NationalDefenceGC/posts/367920333833121

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2019/05/government-marks-wall-reconstruction-at-north-park-armoury.html
 

mariomike

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See also,

https://navy.ca/forums/threads/111670.0
"The armoury is known for its red rock-faced stone exterior and Richardsonian Romanesque style. It was designed by Thomas Fuller, the chief architect at the Public Works Department at the time.

The building was declared a National Historic Site in 1989, in part because it is so much larger than other drill halls of its era. It was built to hold everything from lecture rooms to a bowling alley to an indoor shooting range, according to Parks Canada."
 

OceanBonfire

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Colin Parkinson

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Let's hope they remember to include the telecommunication system in the contract, so we don't have repeat of the Seaforth Armoury oops.
 

FJAG

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Kind of like an episode of "Love it - or List It", isn't it?

You always know that in the middle of the renovation a problem will spring up that's been lurking behind one wall or ceiling for over thirty years, that the pre-bid inspection didn't disclose, that absolutely requires addressing in order to ensure the structural integrity of the building and that no one has prepared for with a contingency budget.

It's a tedious plot thread.

:cautious:
 

dapaterson

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The indecent obsession with preserving old, unsuitable buildings for the Reserves, rather than handing them off to be repurposed and giving new, appropriate facilities to meet modern needs will continue to needlessly drain the defence budget.

But the messes will all be preserved, so the vital ground is protected.
 

OldSolduer

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The indecent obsession with preserving old, unsuitable buildings for the Reserves, rather than handing them off to be repurposed and giving new, appropriate facilities to meet modern needs will continue to needlessly drain the defence budget.

But the messes will all be preserved, so the vital ground is protected.
Many of these old Armories needed replacing 20 years ago but “kick the can down the road” syndrome appeared
 

daftandbarmy

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The indecent obsession with preserving old, unsuitable buildings for the Reserves, rather than handing them off to be repurposed and giving new, appropriate facilities to meet modern needs will continue to needlessly drain the defence budget.

But the messes will all be preserved, so the vital ground is protected.

I like the wrought iron 'security' bars over many of the windows. It's like, medieval man.

Ironically, it reflects the experiences of many of the occupants and is a mute warning to others who might think about joining :)

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The Bay Street Armoury was designated Recognized because of its historical association, its architectural significance, its structural design, and its contextual value.

The Armoury was built during the militia building campaign of 1896-1918, in which more than 100 drill halls and armouries were erected across the country. These buildings played a significant part in the militia reform by functioning as both training and recruitment centres.

In its architectural design, the Bay Street Armoury makes reference to medieval military architecture, the Tudor Revival style. Structurally, the Victoria Armoury exhibits the most integrated use of new structural materials available in the early 20th century. Structural materials consisted of steel and iron encased with fireproof materials and reinforced concrete used together with wood, stone and brick.

 

FJAG

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I like the wrought iron 'security' bars over many of the windows. It's like, medieval man.

Ironically, it reflects the experiences of many of the occupants and is a mute warning to others who might think about joining :)

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The Bay Street Armoury was designated Recognized because of its historical association, its architectural significance, its structural design, and its contextual value.

The Armoury was built during the militia building campaign of 1896-1918, in which more than 100 drill halls and armouries were erected across the country. These buildings played a significant part in the militia reform by functioning as both training and recruitment centres.

In its architectural design, the Bay Street Armoury makes reference to medieval military architecture, the Tudor Revival style. Structurally, the Victoria Armoury exhibits the most integrated use of new structural materials available in the early 20th century. Structural materials consisted of steel and iron encased with fireproof materials and reinforced concrete used together with wood, stone and brick.

Most of them stand on prime downtown real estate and would probably fetch enough money to fund a new more modern complex slightly more suburbish with lots of parking for civilian and military vehicles etc.

I always liked what Delta Hotels did with the one in London. And yes, that tall tower is part of the hotel and built right into the old armoury.

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🍻
 

FSTO

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I guess I'll put this here. The Bytown Naval Officers Mess is to put it mildly a building that should be condemned. 10 years ago it was going to cost 3 million dollars to fix the problems. Since the building was a private entity (a group of officers bought the house during WWII) there was problems with financing. Before I left for Bahrain in 2020, there was quite the debate on what to do with it. A developer wanted to purchase the property outright, a developer wanted to build a condo with the mess incorporated into the building, or gift the building to the crown and allow ADM(IM) to fix it. I guess we went with option 3 and now the cost is north of 8 million to fix and of course there is push-back from ADM(IM).
Hindsight being 2020 we should have sold the joint and bought a house on the river by Carling Campus! LOL!
 

Colin Parkinson

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Most of them stand on prime downtown real estate and would probably fetch enough money to fund a new more modern complex slightly more suburbish with lots of parking for civilian and military vehicles etc.
That ship has sailed for the most part. yes you make money selling it and then lose it trying to buy a new piece of land in any of the Urban areas. Then you have to build to the modern standards and that can be quite expensive. Other issues is that the FN have to be given a chance to buy it and they or any other buyer might demand the land is remediated before the sale. Plus if the building has a heritage designation, then that effects the price and the buyer pool.
The big issue with many of the armouries is that land adjacent was either sold off or land that was needed to make them more functional was not purchased when it was cheap to do so in the 1980's.
 

dapaterson

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As I recall, there had been discussions about CFMWS buying Bytown, levelling it, and building an IR hotel with the mess on the ground floor.

I suspect the plan was derailed as they discovered (a) it's a heritage building and (b) most folks on IR now want to be closer to Carling than to 101.

The future of subsidized drinking clubs for the military is another issue (perhaps something for CPCC to examine).
 

Ostrozac

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The future of messes is a separate issue from the future of armouries, but it does share a common thread in our collective inability to manage infrastructure. And neither issue shows many signs of progress — I was on a mess committee over 10 years ago when I saw documents being staffed around discussing the future of messes in the CAF. Since then? No changes. Similarly, with armouries, there is no capability to plan ahead, and even when the department’s hand is forced by a building that self-divests (fire, roof collapse, etc…) it is a glacial process to deliver replacement infrastructure.
 

daftandbarmy

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The future of messes is a separate issue from the future of armouries, but it does share a common thread in our collective inability to manage infrastructure. And neither issue shows many signs of progress — I was on a mess committee over 10 years ago when I saw documents being staffed around discussing the future of messes in the CAF. Since then? No changes. Similarly, with armouries, there is no capability to plan ahead, and even when the department’s hand is forced by a building that self-divests (fire, roof collapse, etc…) it is a glacial process to deliver replacement infrastructure.

The challenge, of course, is that regiments hang on to these decrepit (and dangerous in some cases) anachronisms because they don't trust that there is a viable alternative can be provided.

The rug has been pulled out from under them so frequently by 'the Army' they can't conceive of any other option than to try and train a 21st C soldier in a facility designed for the 18th C, and built in the 19th/ early 20th C.

Like that one time (years ago) when I suggested that we try to get wifi into the building... there is still no wifi. Except that one of the Cadet Corps lodgers has somehow figured it out "As the sapling, so the maple." ;)
 

Bluebulldog

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Most of them stand on prime downtown real estate and would probably fetch enough money to fund a new more modern complex slightly more suburbish with lots of parking for civilian and military vehicles etc.

I always liked what Delta Hotels did with the one in London. And yes, that tall tower is part of the hotel and built right into the old armoury.

Concur.

An excellent example of a P3 project with a high degree of success.

It should be used as an example for the Capital renewal strategies going forward. Lots more land available in suburban and semi-rural areas just outside the urban core. Other than personnel who are living downtown ( Uni and College students), it would likely benefit more people as well.
 

MilEME09

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Concur.

An excellent example of a P3 project with a high degree of success.

It should be used as an example for the Capital renewal strategies going forward. Lots more land available in suburban and semi-rural areas just outside the urban core. Other than personnel who are living downtown ( Uni and College students), it would likely benefit more people as well.
especially post covid, a lot of commercial and industrial land is sitting empty that DND could pick up some good plots of land for some more modern facilities. Example, for anyone you in Calgary, the site of the old Lafarge concrete plant off Deerfoot and southland is a massive site that already has dedicated in and out routes with enough space for civilian parking, green fleet, and ample maintenance and other facility space.
 

CountDC

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For some the problem is that the military doesn't have all the say in it. I remember the Adjt at 1 Fd (Halifax Armoury at the time) bringing in a part of the building that had fallen while he was walking and having it sent to I think it was Parks Canada or National Heritage that had control of the outer shell. He was fed up trying to get maintenance done as the military wouldn't pay as it was a heritage issue and the other group didn't feel it was bad enough for them to fund. This was also at the time the front wall had bracing put in as it had started to lean more at least partly due to the Navy practicing the gun run for the Tattoo there which included firing the gun facing that wall (I know they blame it fully on the Halifax explosion but I don't think it was coincidence that it became really noticeable after the navy did that).
 

daftandbarmy

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Just for interest... seen on the BC government's procurement site 'BC Bid':

This old armoury was passed on the BC Government years ago and they turned it into (pretty sketchy in some cases) office space....

The Armouries Building Project

The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is looking for either an Architectural/Engineering/Design firm or a combination thereof ("Consultant") to develop a concept design, and potentially additional deliverables, for a new building to replace the current Armouries building.

The Assembly has recently initiated a Long-Term Capital Restoration and Renovation plan for the Precinct buildings. As part of the proposed long-term precinct redevelopment opportunities, the Assembly is exploring its options for a potential new Armouries building located on the precinct grounds ("Project").

Proponents are welcome to form partnerships/collaborations with other firms or hire subcontractors in order to deliver the services required.

A Mandatory Proponents Meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, @ 10:00 AM PT.

The meeting will be held via Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Proponents must register by sending in a completed registration form and will then receive the login details for the call. Meeting details may only be shared with members of the same organization



https://www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca/open.dl...rsion_nos=2&doc_search_by=Tend&docTypeQual=TN
 
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