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Ottawa plans to sell historic armoury in Amherst, N.S., to make way for housing

AMHERST, N.S. — The federal government has announced plans to sell the historic, century-old armoury in Amherst, N.S., to make way for new housing.

In the federal budget released Tuesday, the Liberal government said it will free up lands held by the Defence Department and Canada Post to make room for the construction of housing across the country.

The goal is to build 3.87 million new homes by 2031, adding two million homes to the 1.87 million the country was already on track to build.

To help accomplish that goal, the Defence Department will be working with the Canada Lands Company to divest 14 surplus properties.

Among those properties is the Amherst Armoury in northern Nova Scotia, built in 1915.

The huge sandstone building was declared surplus in 2016 after the local reserve unit moved out, but it is still used for community functions, military cadet training and to house the North Nova Scotia Highlanders Regimental Museum.

The building was temporarily closed in 2020 for an engineering review, which found its huge twin towers were in poor condition and that various repairs were needed within 10 years.

The closure angered local residents.

“The temporary closure was a surprise to the community; this was our mistake,” the Defence Department said at the time. “Information on the closure was not sent to everyone who uses the armoury at the same time.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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