Provincial Normal School, Truro
Date of Issue
February 21, 1994
Series Time Span
1989 - 1996
Perforation or Dimension
14.5 x 14, 13.5 x 13
Leigh-Mardon Pty Limited. Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
Designed by Raymond Bellemare.
The third in the series of splendid examples of Canadian architectural styles, featured on high-value definitive stamps, illustrate the Court House in Yorkton, Saskatchewan and the Provincial Normal School in Truro, Nova Scotia. Officially opened on November 6, 1878 the Normal School Building is a sophisticated example of the Second Empire style of architecture, combining an elaborate composition of patterned brick walls surmounted by a distinctive mansard roof, the "height of fashion" when it was built. The Second Empire style originated in France when Napoleon III undertook a major redevelopment of Paris. Its ostentatious appearance in full-blown style was popular in the 1870s and 1880s for public buildings such as Quebec's Legislative Assembly, Ottawa's Langevin Block and Victoria's Custom House. A simpler domestic style was common in houses built in Saint John, New Brunswick following the 1877 fire. Recognized first and foremost by their mansard roofs, Second Empire buildings boast a double pitched roof with a steep lower side which is close to vertical and may be curved, the upper slope has such a slight pitch as to appear flat. Another characteristic is a prominent centre section flanked by end pavilions. Embellishments such as elaborately framed dormer windows and strongly moulded protruding horizontal bands are integral features, with paired superimposed columns flamboyantly displayed. Built at a cost of $40,000, the three-storey building has a frontage of 29.8 metres (98 feet), a depth of 17 metres (56 feet) and a rear wing of 14.6 x 19.2 metres (48 x 63 feet), measuring an even 100 feet high. Montreal designer Raymond Bellemare used visuals and research provided by Toronto architect Robert G. Hill to illustrate the buildings full-front from street-level. Bellemare produced highly accurate computer generated line drawings and then added the various colours and tones while removing the previously drawn lines. Both stamps bear a Plate 1 inscription in panes of 25 and are untagged.
Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamp Details, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1994, p. 1, 9-10.
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