ORTONA ARMOURIES 1914
The character-defining elements as expressed in the form, massing, materials and style of the principal facades such as: the eight brick pilasters that divide the front façade into seven bays; the brick detailing such as the brick dental course above the sandstone lintels on the upper floors, the round brick arches and flat arches over window openings, the brick band cornice at the parapet level; the stone details such as the lintels and sills; the hoist penthouse covered in pressed metal siding located on the south rooftop; the recessed windows in the front façade; the stone capped parapet; the three carved sandstone cartouches above the entrance bay, the centre bay and the northern bay; thepattern of recessed alternating double and triple windows on the front façade. [Alberta Register of Historic Places, Statement of Significance]
The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) built its large warehouse and brick stable for its delivery horses on Ross’ Flats in 1914. Building Permit #716 was applied for by the HBC on Tuesday, 2 June 1914, for a “stable” to be constructed on Lots 13-14 Block 2 Hudson’s Bay Reserve (HBR), on 102 Street. The architect was listed as the “owners.” Value of the new building was placed at $25,000.
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written by Ken Tingley (Edmonton's History Laureate)
commissioned by The Ortona Armoury Tenants Association (OATA)
Comments: A Living History
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Other links of interest:
excerpt from ROSSDALE HISTORICAL LAND USE STUDY :
"The second decision was to build stables on part of the property it had retained when it re-subdivided in 1913. The HBC’s policy was to sell seventy-five per cent of the lots on each block, keeping for itself one corner lot and one adjoining lot. The stables, built in 1914 at the southeast corner of 102 Street and Hardisty (98) Avenue, served the HBC retail operation’s horse-drawn delivery vehicles until 1924. The Company used the field to the south to pasture its horses.181 Evan Petley-Jones, who grew up in Rossdale at the corner of 104 Street and 97 Avenue between 1920 and 1940, remembers watching the fine turnout of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Horses and wagons, which passed our house on their way from their stables on 102nd Street to the uptown store on Jasper Avenue. The horses were all light-coloured palominos, with well groomed manes and tails. Their wagons were green with gold trim and lettering, all kept in beautiful condition. In winter sleighs were used, and the sound of harness bells added to the delight of the elegant show. The HBC’s conversion of its retail delivery fleet to motorized trucks ended this memorable spectacle. The HBC’s conversion of its retail delivery fleet to motorized trucks ended this memorable spectacle.
In 1924 the HBC leased the stables to the Edmonton Pure Butter Company. By 1929 it was vacant. The federal government used the former stable in 1938-39 as a boys’ industrial training school. It purchased the building in 1939 for use by the naval reserve, which established the appropriately named HMCS Nonsuch at the site. This took in five city lots, with groomed lawns and a shooting range. A drill hall was added in 1942. The Canadian Navy used the site for training through World War II and until 1965, when the HMCS Nonsuch was decommissioned as a unit. The building then fell under the control of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment. Renamed the Ortona Armouries, it continued to be used by the military until 1977. Since then various community groups have used the venerable building – the former HBC stable – which is now owned by the City of Edmonton."
"An intact brick structure, formerly a Hudson Bay Company stable and later an armoury (Ortona Armoury) is located immediately north of the site area. This structure is not included in the Site 1 area and was consequently not recorded. This location is the farthest from the active channel of the North Saskatchewan River, therefore deposits at this location are likely the oldest within the West Rossdale Area."