Canada’s oldest “prairie castle” is to be demolished

This rice tower ends its reign over a Canadian city after more than 100 years.

Canada’s oldest surviving “prairie castle” — a 125-year-old wooden granary that has long dominated a city’s skyline — will soon be defunct, ending an era for the area.

“If you lose the post office, the church, and the school, maybe you can tolerate that. But the grain elevators were often the reason many cities existed at all,” said Gordon Goldsborough, executive director of the Manitoba Historical Society. said the guard the importance of the structure for the city of Elva. “Seeing the elevator go is like a last hurray for the city.”

This particular elevator was built in 1897 and named after the company that built it – the Lake of the Woods Milling Company elevator. Visible for miles, it has long served as a symbol of Elva’s economic activity, marking the hamlet as a center of commerce on the Canadian prairies.

Canada's oldest prairie castle salvage
The castles once symbolized economic activity on Canada’s prairies.
Gordon Goldsborough
Canada's oldest prairie castle salvage
The owner strives to salvage as much of the structure as possible.
Steve Boyko
Canada's oldest prairie castle salvage
The wood, sheet metal and hardware of the elevator are to be resold.
Steve Boyko
Canada's oldest prairie castle salvage
The building was erected in 1897.
Steve Boyko

However, the decades have aged it badly, and while there’s great nostalgia for the building and all it represents, its owner says it’s time to join his fellow lifters in the pages of history.

“It’s at the point now where it’s going to either be demolished or dismantled,” says Troy Angus, who owns both the Lake of the Woods elevator and a newer one next to it. said CTV News Winnipeg. “The water, the moisture, has come in and seeped into the foundation and this building is just beyond salvage.”

Though he’s seen as the elevator that can’t be saved, his business specializes in the restoration of buildings, and he plans to reclaim as much of the antique wood, pewter, and hardware as possible. The salvaged parts are then resold to individuals so the legacy of the elevator can live on in pieces – the goal being “to spread this stuff as widely as possible so the story can live on”.

Also, on behalf of posterity, Angus documents reclamation efforts in a YouTube series. Canada’s oldest “prairie castle” is to be demolished


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