Parks Canada

Parks Canada

September 02, 2005 17:00 ET

Parks Canada: Historic Significance of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and Grounds Recognized

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 2, 2005) - In a joint ceremony today, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Paul Martin, and the Premier of Saskatchewan, the Honourable Lorne Calvert, unveiled national and provincial plaques to commemorate the important role that the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and grounds have played in the history of both the province and the country.

The Prime Minister unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the national historic significance of the legislative building and its grounds, while Premier Calvert unveiled a plaque that extends the legislative building's designation as a provincial heritage property to include the surrounding grounds.

"With this national designation, we recognize not only a truly outstanding building and impressive grounds, but also their contribution - and Saskatchewan's contribution - to Canada's development as a nation," said Prime Minister Martin. "This wonderfully-designed building is a monument that symbolizes the foresight of Saskatchewan's leaders and Saskatchewan's place in Canada. Both the building and its landscaped gardens reflect the optimism and pride that resonate in this province as we celebrate its centennial."

"Our centennial year is a perfect time to honour our past and celebrate the promise of a bright future," said Premier Calvert. "Our province's founders left the people of Saskatchewan and all Canadians a grand legacy. The legislative building and its grounds reflect the vision of a great province full of opportunity for all. By extending the provincial designation to include the gardens and grounds, we are recognizing and celebrating our rich heritage."

Designed by Canadian architects Edward and W.S. Maxwell, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building was constructed from 1908 to 1912. It is an outstanding example of beaux-arts design, which was popular at the turn of the last century.

The grounds, designed initially by landscape architect Frederick Todd and the Maxwell brothers, and later altered by Thomas Mawson, include paths, gardens, recreational spaces and walkways. They are one of the best examples in Canada of a landscape developed according to a city beautiful-based master plan. Departing from the standard grid plans upon which most cities were founded, the City Beautiful concept resulted in an emphasis on symmetrical designs, treed areas, and civic grandeur.

Today, thousands of people walk, run and bike through the grounds every year, and stop to admire the gardens as well as the legislative building.

The provincial designation now encompasses the 17 hectares of grounds immediately surrounding the legislative building, including garden spaces, walkways and monuments. This entire area will now be protected under the Heritage Property Act that ensures future modifications respect a site's heritage values and integrity.

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment about the national historic significance of places, persons and events that have marked Canada's history. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents an official recognition of their historic value. It is one means of educating the public about the richness of our cultural heritage, which must be preserved for present and future generations.

(Also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under What's new.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Brigitte Caron
    Press Secretary
    (819) 997-1441
    or
    Saskatchewan Property Management, Regina, Saskatchewan
    Kevin Wishlow
    Communications Consultant
    (306) 787-7753