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California Calling: The Buena Vista Apartments

On a dark and cold winter day in Winnipeg, one only needs to  travel to the Norwood neighbourhood to find a little bit of California sunshine. The Buena Vista Apartments are an unexpected splash of Spanish flare, standing out as one of the scarce examples of Mission Revival architecture in the city. At first glance the complex might be easy to dismiss, as the extensive white stucco walls appear rather plain and the flat roofs out of place when compared to other homes in the neighbourhood. But it is actually a hidden gem, with architectural grandeur that can only truly be appreciated when one takes the time to see its thoughtful details. It is a rarity in both style and functionality that should be conserved, celebrated and learned from in an effort to built a more sustainable, inclusive future.

Mission Revival architecture was inspired by historic Spanish colonial mission buildings found in the southwestern United States. Starting in the early 17th century, missions were built to refle…
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The Old Lady of Carlton Street: The Winnipeg Free Press Building

The Manitoba Health Offices building at 300 Carlton Street does not try to hide what it once was. Along the roof, in boxy letters, are the words “FREE PRESS”.

It is a not-so-subtle reminder of the building’s publishing past. For 79 years, 300 Carlton Street was the home of the Winnipeg Free Press, Manitoba’s oldest newspaper. Today, the building is a quieter office space tucked away behind the new development of Portage Place Mall.

Decades ago, though, 300 Carlton would have been buzzing with excitement. The machinery of the printing press would hum, staff pounding away furiously at their typewriters, surrounded by the frenetic energy of a newsroom in one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. When the Winnipeg Free Press moved into their Carlton Street building in 1905, there was hardly a shortage of news to report; hopes were high in Winnipeg and bigger and better developments were happening on the daily. Carlton Street may have been the sixth home of the Winnipeg Free Press, but was…

Hall-Marks The Spot: Winnipeg's Heritage in Christmas Movies

If you have been anywhere in Winnipeg in the past several years, you’ve likely seen a film crew at some point. They’re easy to spot: Long white trucks, maybe a trailer or two, set up along Winnipeg’s suburban streets or in a parking lot downtown. Manitoba’s film industry has taken off, bringing in millions of dollars (2.73 million in 2018/19, to be specific) and dozens of Hollywood stars.

There are incentives to come film in Winnipeg. Provincial tax credits make filming in Manitoba comparably cheaper than somewhere like Toronto, and both the natural and built environment prove to be considerable draws.

Winnipeg has a wide variety of building types going back 150 years, and the old-fashioned brick streets of the Exchange District can and have doubled for Chicago, New York, and even Texas. Homes along Wellington Crescent and Kingsway can work for your grand mansion needs. Even our more modernist structures and less-distinctive side streets are used for more contemporary films.

One par…