Rebuild the Armoury!

Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume appealed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier this week to rebuild the burned out historic Quebec City Armoury as soon as possible.

Upon hearing the news while in France, Labeaume immediately began his campaign to urgently rebuild the historic structure. 

Quebec City's 124-year-old armoury, located just outside the fortified walls, was destroyed in a massive fire last Friday night.

The building was undergoing renovations, which included the installation of sprinklers.

The fire is reported to have begun around 9:30 p.m. and to have engulfed the building quickly. There was also an explosion. 

Some 100 firefighters battled the blaze, but the suspended wooden ceiling made it impossible for them to get inside. The roof collapsed shortly after 10 p.m.

Crowds gathered all weekend to witness the destruction.

News of the destruction spread around the world in quick time online.

Built in 1885, the armoury was home to Canada's oldest French regiment, Quebec's Les Voltigeurs, and contained a museum of the regiment's history, uniforms, archives, and other objects. The armoury was also home to an air cadet squadron.  

Some objects, uniforms and archival papers were reportedly salvaged. Historic objects rescued from the Musée des Voltigeurs and the Royal Rifles of Canada are being evaluated by experts from the Centre de conservation du Québec who have worked on the objects in the past. 

This building, which resembled a castle, will still play a role in the 400th anniversary celebrations of the city of Quebec, according to Labeaume.

International Military Music Festival spokespeople said that concerts would still be held in front of the armoury.

In front of the remains of the historic armoury stands a monument dedicated to two artillerymen, Major Short and Staff Sergeant Wallick; they died in May 1889, while fighting a fire in the St-Sauveur district.