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Summerside Armoury Renovation
Summerside Armoury Renovation


May 26, 2021— One year has passed since the renovation of the 1911 Summerside Armoury began. It was May 25
th, 2020 when the work crew from Skills PEI first entered the building to begin a sensitive renovation of transforming the historic military building into an interpretative centre that will tell diverse community stories through modern technology.

The renovation project was delayed by nine weeks due to COVID-19, which makes it even more exciting for project manager, Lori Ellis, of Culture Summerside, to announce that the finish line for the massive project is within sight. Lori’s objective is for the building to be open to the public by July of 2021. The timeline is impressive considering the challenges encountered around COVID-19, and the need to do the job to the highest of standards. “Renovating a historic building means attention must be paid to detail and that is not something that can be rushed,” she said.

A considerable number of tradespeople in the community have been involved in the project. Robert Campbell has served as the lead carpenter. The problem of water in the basement that plagued the building since it was built has been solved. An elevator has been skillfully incorporated to make all three floors of the building accessible.

Green technology is now part of the building’s footprint through the City’s Heat for Less program and a climate-controlled exhibit space is now part of the third floor. The stripping and refinishing of the wainscoting, trim, and wood floors is nearly complete. The paint colours have been chosen and the exhibit cases are under construction. Repointing on the front exterior of the building will soon get underway, as will landscaping. 

Ellis worked with the original Federal Department of Public Works drawings in determining the plan for the Armoury to be renovated and restored. “The original architect would be well pleased with the attention to detail,” says Councillor Carrie Adams, City of Summerside Chair of Human Resources, Legal and Culture. Adams recently took another tour of the Armoury to view the progression of the work being overseen by Culture Summerside.  She was greatly impressed to see such detailed intertwining of the new with the old. “This project is exciting. Our past has been preserved in the strong architectural foundation of the building while it holds a new progressive place in our future. The new interpretative centre will be a great community and tourism asset to the City of Summerside.” 

Funding for the project was secured through the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Innovation PEI, Skills PEI, Employment and Social Development Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, Farm Credit Canada, John and Judy Bragg Foundation, and the City of Summerside. 

Armoury 1
Councillor Carrie Adams examining the newly stripped handrail.

Armoury 2
Newly stripped wainscotting and sanded floors.

Armoury 3
Councillor Carrie Adams with 1912 builder's signature.

For more information:
Lori Ellis, Manager of Heritage and Cultural Properties
City of Summerside - Culture Summerside
M:  902-786-7432
E:  lori.ellis@city.summerside.ca

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