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Showing posts from 2015

Laura Secord School at 960 Wolseley Avenue

"The great economic prosperity enjoyed by Manitoba through most of its pre-war decade clearly produced a substantial growth in the size and quality of its schools... Winnipeg's energetic building program thrust Manitoba into the forefront of Canadian school building construction during the years 1904-14. It would appear that these architectural and administrative advances were the product of a prosperous maturing society able and willing to avail itself of the best of contemporary school construction technology."  ~ Ivan Saunders ~ (A Survey of Manitoba School Architecture to 1930
C.I.H.B. Research Bulletin No. 222 November 1984 p. 9 & 10.)
Quick Facts
Named after Laura Secord Ingersoll, Canadian heroine from the War of 1812Built in 1912, completed in 1914Featured the latest in education practices and fire safety technology at the timePart of a boom in school construction and a change in attitudes towards education in Manitoba in the pre-war eraContractors for the const…

Seasons Greetings from Heritage Winnipeg

Celebrating Volunteer David McDowell: Millennium Legacy Fundraising Reception

On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Heritage Winnipeg held their Millennium Legacy fundraising reception to honour and celebrate the contributions of David McDowell to the heritage community. A long-time volunteer and advocate, David was there when Heritage Winnipeg began, and was part of the battle to save the former Bank of Commerce at 389 Main Street. Fittingly, the former Bank, now known as the Millennium Centre, was the venue chosen for this event.

David McDowell is a retired history and geography teacher who worked throughout Manitoba for the duration of his 37-year career. During this time he was also a Western Manitoba member of the Manitoba Historical Society and later served on the board. In the late 1970s, when demolition threatened to turn the majestic banks at 395 Main Street and 389 Main Street into a parking lot, David was President of the Manitoba Historical Society and one of the advocates at the fore of the protests. This heritage movement lead to the formation of Herita…

A Winnipeg Landmark: The Bank of Montreal at 335 Main Street

Located on the southeast corner of Portage and Main, the Bank of Montreal has become an integral part of this iconic intersection. Designed by America's leading neoclassicists McKim, Mead, & White, with assistance from Winnipeg architect J.N. Semmens, the building cost $1,295,000 to construct in 1910. For more information about the history of Canada's windiest corner, visit our earlier post here.

The first Bank of Montreal branch opened in Winnipeg in 1877, housed in rented premises at Broadway and Main. The location would later change as corporate directors decided a space in the main business district would better attract new clients.


The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway brought with it the land boom of 1881. Just in time to take advantage of the influx of newcomer, the bank opened a new brick building at the southern end of Banker's Row, near the south-west corner of Main and Portage. By 1906 this building was still considered to be a handsome structure, with …

As Demolition Threatens: A History of Dennistoun House at 166 Roslyn Road

By 1880, Winnipeg's business leaders began to build new homes on land across the Red river in the southern portion of the city. The district came to be called Fort Rouge, after the fur trading post built in 1738 by LaVerendrye at the juncture of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

By the early 1900s, the Winnipeg Electric Company had accelerated the growth of outlying suburban districts, providing wider streets and larger lots that only the affluent could afford. Roslyn Road, the first street south of the Osborne Bridge, became the district of stately bankers' homes.
Mr. Justice Robert Maxwell Dennistoun The house at 166 Roslyn Road was built in 1909 by Mr. Justice Robert Maxwell Dennistoun (sometimes spelt Dennistown), who at the time was a partner in Machray, Sharpe, and Dennistoun. Barristers and solicitors, these men kept offices in the Bank of Ottawa building at 363 Main Street.

Dennistoun was born in 1864 in Petersborough, Ontario, the son of a lawyer and the daughter of a …