One of the most imposing buildings in the West End is the red-bricked Minto Armoury, which has stood on St. Matthew’s Avenue for more than a century. For many, what goes on inside this building is a mystery.
The main feature of the building is a surprisingly massive parade square. In fact, I know many people who tell me they used to compete in school track and field events at the Armoury. In addition to offices and meeting spaces, there is a shooting range in the basement and three regimental museums: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and the 38th Service Battalion.
The Armoury, named after Governor-General Lord Minto, was pressed into full service immediately after opening during the First World War, and again during the Second World War. In January 1956, a major fire destroyed the original wooden roof, which was replaced by the present steel roof.
The Armoury is often a hive of activity. Many of our friends and neighbours who serve in the Reserves meet and train at the Armoury. Most Reserve members are involved part-time and have other jobs or are students. Reserve members are paid for what they do, including weekly training and longer periods of service in the summer. To learn more about the Reserves, you can drop by the Armoury or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I know several students at local schools who enjoy being a part of the cadet program because they are motivated to improve their physical fitness, to work harder at their academic studies, and to give back to our community through volunteerism and citizenship activities.
If you live near the Armoury, you may hear when the cadet band practices the difficult skill of playing and marching at the same time. If you or a young person you know is interested in learning more, they can visit the Armoury or www.cadets.gc.ca/en/join/cadets.page
The Armoury holds an open house each fall, which is an excellent chance to learn more about the building and its history.
Several years ago, I asked a local class whether "Minto" was the best name for the area I serve in the legislature. They did their research and reported to me that, indeed, because of the history and tradition of Minto Armoury and all who have passed through, the name should stay. Who can argue with that?
If you have any questions give my office a call at 204-783-9860 or visit my website at AndrewSwan.ca