ArtsHub Ortona

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Invited by the City of Edmonton to advise in the rehabilitation of this prominent historical landmark in the Rossdale area, we are pleased to be a part of the team working through the design and rehabilitation that will allow The Ortona Armoury to continue to serve as an important arts hub for Edmonton artists and community.

Built in 1914 by the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Ortona was originally a large warehouse and brick stable. Many of the character-defining elements can still be viewed on the outside. Since that time, the building has been used as a Butter Company, a National Trade School, Alberta Poultry Pool, the Boys Department a Youth Training School, Public Works Canada, and since about 1977 it has taken on more of a cultural identity with tenants such as the National Film Board, Edmonton Folk Festival, and FAVA, as well as an active art gallery and artists’ studios.

The Ortona Armoury building requires extensive work to upgrade structural foundations, replace mechanical and electrical systems and general building repairs. The work will follow historical conservation methods and best practices. Historical Designation prevents demolition of the building or inappropriate alterations to the structure and we are excited for the rehabilitation project that will provide purpose-built arts space for the community.

Project Timeline

2019 and 2020

  • Detailed Design and Construction pending funding approval

The rehabilitation of the Ortona Armoury continues apace. The project’s design phase is nearing completion and construction is expected to be completed mid-2022. Arts Habitat continues to develop the operating plan that will guide the future operations of Edmonton’s renewed Arts Community Hub. Informal consultations with representatives from the Edmonton Arts Community have begun and will continue through 2021. Our expectation is to have the facility leased and rented with individual artists occupying the small studio spaces and a diverse array of NFP groups jointly sharing larger, collaborative spaces.


  • Complete Functional Program and Schematic Design
  • Stakeholder engagement and public information session
  • Budget for the next phases pending funding approval from City Council

Read more about the history of the Ortona in this document by Ken Tingley.

More information about the Ortona Project on the City of Edmonton website.