Visiting Brampton Armoury, Brampton, Ontario: Dating from 1912, Home of a Scottish-Canadian Regiment
Dating from 1912, a past portal to horrors on the Somme
The Armoury at Brampton (1), Ontario has a striking frontage at its Chapel Street elevation. The building is mainly executed in red brick, but at its Chapel Street frontage there are a number of motifs in multicoloured brickwork.
While the Chapel Street elevation of the building has a strong, two-dimensional feel to it, the structure does in fact extent back to some considerable depth.
On the site is house the regimental museum of the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment); the Regiment itself dates from 1866; it is now graciously headed by its Colonel-in-Chief HRH The Duke of Kent.
As the building dating from 1912 sits in a fairly quiet side street in Brampton, and one considers how its exterior has hardly changed over the past century, one could almost become serenely nostalgic about this piece of architectural heritage...until one considers that large numbers of recruits passed through this building on the way to the Somme, France, in World War One, where literally hundreds of thousands perished in clouds of gas and machine gun fire in the space of several weeks. For these, the Armoury at Brampton would in hindsight be a portal to horrors.
It makes one reflect that, just as Prime Minister of Canada Sir Robert Borden on the outbreak of what was to be known as World War One thought that he ought to break his vacation in Muskoka, Ontario in case he was needed in Ottawa, so the recruits who passed through this building on the way to the Western Front — many of them never to return — were similarly oblivious of the horrors to come.
Heritage has many facets, indeed.
July 17, 2018
(1) See also: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM511T_Brampton_Armoury_The_Lorne_Scots
Also worth seeing
In Brampton itself, Bovaird House is an historic residence open to the public. The Dominion Building and a number of church buildings are of architectural merit, as is the building in which the Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives are housed; Boyle House, dating from c.1860, is nearby.
Black Creek Pioneer Village , Toronto (distance: approx. 23 kilometres) has a much visited collection of historic structures.
How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson Airport to Downtown Brampton is approx. 19 kilometres). Local bus routes include Brampton Transit Bus Route 502. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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