December 15, 2015

Province's Oldest Court House Reopens

The Government of Saskatchewan and the Courts of Saskatchewan are pleased to announce the historic Moose Jaw Court House is once again serving the people of Moose Jaw and surrounding area.

“For more than a century, this magnificent building has been a fixture in this city and a symbol of our provincial justice system,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said.  “I’m tremendously thankful for the hard work that went into restoring it, especially all that was done to preserve its heritage.”

Built in 1909, the Moose Jaw Court House is home to the Court of Queen’s Bench.  The court was temporarily relocated after a ceiling collapse two years ago.  Staff moved back into the building earlier this month and court sittings have resumed.

“Looking back, the ceiling collapse was an opportunity in disguise—an opportunity to restore one of Saskatchewan’s most beautiful and historic court houses, indeed the oldest court house in the province,” Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice M.D. Popescul said.  “I’m so grateful to our government partners for the wonderful job they’ve done.  I’m also grateful to our court staff who have managed the disruption with grace and good humour.”

The Moose Jaw Court House was designated a Provincial Heritage Property in 1988.  As such, the design and construction process focused on restoring the building to its original condition, which included using turn-of-the-century construction methods such as lath and plaster instead of the more conventional drywall.

“The work carried out on the Moose Jaw Court House has preserved an important symbol of our province and history that will continue to serve the community for years to come,” Central Services Minister Jennifer Campeau said.  “Thank you to the professionals who contributed to the restoration of this designated heritage building.”

Following the design and consultation phase, construction officially started in October of 2014 and wrapped up last month with a final cost of $6.3 million.