Fonds BF 16 - Gordon Arnott fonds

Union Station, Regina

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Gordon Arnott fonds

General material designation

  • Architectural drawing
  • Technical drawing
  • Electronic record
  • Microform
  • Sound recording
  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Moving images

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Title statements of responsibility

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Level of description


Reference code

BF 16

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1950-1996 (Accumulation)
  • 1907-1996 (predominant: 1950-1996) (Creation)
    Arnott, Gordon Ryan, 1926-1996

Physical description area

Physical description

169.900m of textual records
40402 architectural drawings : paper
26351 photographs
2 videocassettes : VHS, col., sd. (1 hr. 44 min.)
2 film reels : picture prints, si.; 16 mm (6 min. 52 sec.)
10 microfilm reels
1 audio cassette : ferric oxide, 4.75 cm/sec, stereo (6 min. 15 sec.)
computer files

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

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Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Gordon Ryan Arnott was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 1 August 1926. He attended Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, and the University of Manitoba where he achieved a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1948, and was awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medal. He also held a post-graduate fellowship in community and regional planning from Central Mortgage and Housing at the University of British Columbia from 1951-1952.

Arnott's career began with work in Winnipeg (Green Blankstein and Russell), Calgary (Rule Wynn and Rule, and a year in private practice), and in Vancouver as Townsite Planning and Liason Architect for the Kitimat project with the Alcan Aluminum Company of Canada (1951-1953). He then moved to Regina and entered partnership with Kiyo Izumi in 1954. His association with numerous architects, engineers, interior designers, and planners has resulted in the establishment of various firms in his career: Izumi, Arnott, Sugiyama 1954-1968; Gordon R. Arnott & Associaites, 1968-1974; Arnott MAcPhail Johnstone & Associates, 1974-1981; Arnott MacPhail Associates, 1981-1988; and Arnott Kelly O'Connor Associates, 1988-1995. In the autumn of 1995, the firm became Arnott Associates Architect Ltd. Following the death of Gordon Arnott on 7 May 1996, the firm was dissolved and the offices at 2275 Albert Street in Regina closed.

When Izumi, Arnott and Sugiyama formed a partnership in the mid-1950s, the firm was one of the first in the province to have a structural engineer as a principal. As the work of the firm developed, its experience and expertise in designing institutional, public, and commercial buildings became widely known. Throughout Arnott's career, he and his firms(s) have been the recipient of numerous awards: the Massey Medal Honourable Mention, 1958; Vincent Massey Award of Excellence in Urban Environment for the Midtown Plaza project in Saskatoon, 1971; Queen's Jubilee Medal, 1977; the Saskatchewan Association of Architects Design Award, 1979, and the Canadian Consulting Engineering Design Award, 1981 for the T.C. Douglas Building, Wascana Centre, Regina; The Premier's Award, Award of Merit in Community Planning for the Transitional Area Concept Study, Regina, 1986; the Saskatchewan Association of Architects Award of Excellence for the Saskatchewan Science Centre; and the City of Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Award, Infill Category, for the Midtown Plaza Expansion, 1991.

Arnott was very active in numerous professional associations including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (President 1970-1971); Saskatchewan Association of Architects (President 1961); Canadian Institute of Planners; National Design Council of Canada (1973-1979); Royal Architectural Institute of Canada College of Fellows (Dean, 1987-1989); Advisory Design Committee, National Capital Commission (Vice-Chairman, 1990). He was also an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and an Honorary Member of the Mexican Society of Architects. Arnott served as President of the Assiniboia Club, Regina (1977 1978), and as Director of the Regina Exhibition Association (1982), and sat on the Canadian Executive Service Organization Board, and the Wascana Centre Authority Heritage Property Advisory Committee.

Arnott wrote numerous reports and articles related to architecture and planning, and has delivered speeches and lectures to professional conferences, conventions, and universities. His activities in the architectural field have gained him national and international recognition. His legacy continues through the Gordon R. Arnott Memorial Bursary at the University of Regina.

The activities of Arnott and his firm(s) within Saskatchewan have been extensive since 1954. Major projects include Midtown Plaza, Saskatoon; T.C. Douglas Building, Regina; Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina campuses; Cornwall Centre, Regina; Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts, Regina; Air Terminal Building, Regina; Saskatchewan Pavillion, Vancouver, Exp '86; Saskatchewan Science Centre, 1989; Midtown Plaza Expansion, Saskatoon, 1990; and Casino Regina, 1995. Internationally, Arnott provided architectural consulting services for the Kenya Technical Teacher's College, and the United Nations Environmental Programme Headquarters building in Nairobi, and worked with the Canadian International Development Agency.

Custodial history

Doreen Arnott, wife of Gordon Arnott, donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives, in three accessions between 1996 and 2001: R96-395 (June 21, 1996); R2000-042 (February 10, 2000); R2001-221 (July 9, 2001).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records, created, accumulated and used by Gordon Arnott in his professional career as an architect in Regina, Saskatchewan. The records were created in the course of Arnott's early career and subsequent partnerships with other architects.

Collection R-1483 includes specification files, project files, shop drawings, architectural drawings, interior design files, architectural association files and files relating to Arnott's educational and personal activities. The project files form the largest part of the textual records.

The records are arranged by type of record such as specifications, shop drawings, interior design projects, correspondence with professional associations, office correspondence, and project files. Within each series, the records follow the general arrangement by project number used within the offices of the firms. This numbering includes the year in which the contract was awarded and a consecutive assignment within the year. Correspondence files follow an alphabetical arrangement by subject.

Collection R-1569 includes textual records, architectural and presentation drawings, photographs, exhibits, electronic records, and a limited number of audio visual materials. The textual records primarily document Arnott's career and the firm history from the mid 1980's to his death. These records have been organized by record type (such as specifications, engineering and shop drawings, interior design and space planning, consulting services, and contracts) wherever possible, although some overlap does occur, particularly in the project files. While archive numbers have been assigned to each files series, the original file designation, where known, appears in parentheses before the file title. The project files include architectural and engineering services, interior design, urban and space planning, and consulting services. Also included in the textual records are the personal files of Arnott related to his career, and administrative files of the various firms of which he was senior principal. The office files, which were an active records series at the time of his death, have been described separately. They include ongoing projects, current negotiations, and prospects for new business.

Other textual records have been arranged into seven series (BF16-1 to BF16-7): Specifications, Drawing Registers, Project Studies; Account Activity Reports; Project Files; Corporate Files; and Media. The types of records are similar in nature to records in R-1483 and R-1569.

The photographs found within each file series have, for the most part, been left in the original files, since the greatest context for these records is found within the textual record. However, the Arnott office system also had a separate file series for photographs, and this has been retained in the description, R-1569. The photographs relate primarily to specific projects or to the firm. They have been arranged by subject type.

Oversized materials including textual records, photographs, exhibits, and miscellaneous drawings have been described in a separate series in R-1569. Similarly, electronic records are described in a specific series. The electronic records include Computer Aided Design & Drafting (CADD) files and text files organized by project.

The majority of architectural drawings and plans are located at R-P68, R-P69, R-P70, R-P71 and on microfilm at R-2.13. Most of the drawings, designs, and sketches for R-P68 span the 1954-1976 period. They include originals, contract or record sets, working drawings, shop drawings and preliminary creations. Drawings, pre-dating 1954, mostly pertain to buildings for which the firm was asked to design renovations or additions. Some of Arnott's earlier drawings are only available on microfilm at R-2.13. The architectural drawings and presentation drawings contained in R-P69, R-P70 and R-P71 have been arranged by project number, the vast majority corresponding to the textual specifications and project files. The majority of drawings span the mid 1970s to 1996 period. They include working drawings, contract sets, and as-builts. The drawings reflect the transition of the firm to CADD (Computer Aided Design & Drafting) technology, beginning in 1988, and continuing as an ongoing process in 1996.

The architectural drawings included in R-P 76, the textual records in R-E4631, and the photographs (R-A32601(1)-(6), R-A32603(1)-(2), R-B14228(1)-(6) relate to Arnott's heritage home at 2930 Albert Street and his office at 2275 Albert Street in Regina. The architectural drawings in R-P 5 relate to Regina City Hall and include proposed drawing, 1906 City Hall drawings and proposed renovation drawings.

The substantial portion of financial records relating to Arnott's firm were never transferred to the custody of the Saskatchewan Archives Board.

Notes area

Physical condition

Records are in good physical condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

Arnott, MacPhail, Johnstone & Associates Ltd. donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1975: 655 (R) (October 24, 1975).
Gordon Arnott donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1995: R95-050 (February 23, 1995).


Some of the electronic record files are not accessible due to: software and hardware obsolescence, floppy disc degradation and migration issues. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.
Arrangement reflects both original order and archival intervention.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Location for retrieval: Regina - Hillsdale; Regina - Maxwell

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Records are open with terms of use.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records may be subject to terms and conditions of the Copyright Act and/ or a donor agreement.

To consult the records, visit or contact the Regina office.

Finding aids

SAFA 26 (old guides GR 405, GR 571 and GR 595) consists of a fonds level description, and file level listings for textual records and most of the architectural records (listed by building type).

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Associated material: Other architectural drawings records of Gordon Arnott are held by the City of Regina Archives.
Related material: Architectural drawings of Weyburn Square Office Building are located at R-P28 and are part of the Saskatchewan Diamond Jubilee Corporation fonds.

R-E4005 includes a booklet commemorating the official opening of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon on July 2, 1969.

R-E4143 contains a copy of a Leader-Post newspaper article entitled “Arnott Prominent Architect Dies” dated May 9, 1996 and a copy of Arnott's obituary from the Leader-Post published May 9, 1996.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

Physical description

Photograph count includes prints, negatives, slides, and transparencies.


Verification and evaluation of the file content of the electronic records is ongoing by archives staff. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

Alpha-numeric designations

Textual Records: old guides GR 571 (R-1483) and GR595 (R-1569); R-E4631
Architectural Drawings: R-P 5 (GR 405); R-P68; R-P69; R-P70; R-P71; R-P76
Photographs: R-A28381, R-A28470; R-B13494; R-B13496; R-D2415, R-A32602(1)-(6); R-A32603(1)-(2); R-B14228(1)-(6)
Audio: R-15639
Video: VT R12344; VT R12345
Film: R-4111; R-4112
Microfilm: R-2.13.1 to R-2.13.10

Alternative identifier(s)

Original ID


Standard number area

Standard number

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Control area

Description record identifier

BF 16

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Saskatchewan Archives. Archival Description Manual 2004.



Level of detail

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

  • Latin


Content of the fonds.

Accession area

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