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Showing posts from September, 2015

Signs of the Times: Ghost Signs in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

Article by and images courtesy of Matt Cohen, marketer, ad-history enthusiast, and board member of the Advertising Association of Winnipeg. Edited by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.
Ghost signs are pieces of hand-painted, outdoor promotional art preserved on the sides of buildings. They were prevalent from the 1890s through to the 1960s, but as outdoor advertising mediums evolved, painted signs became a less popular way of promoting products and services. Over the years, they’ve been replaced by billboards, vinyl banners and store-front signage.
Generation after generation though, the original signs remain. This is due to the paint and the substrate. Much like sponges, bricks are extremely porous. When they come into contact with a liquid, they quickly absorb it. That liquid, in this case, was lead- and oil-based paint. This meant the signs would remain for decad…

Heritage On Main: The Former Dominion Hotel (The Blue Note Café) at 218-224 Main Street

Article by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp.
Thank you to Greg Agnew, Heritage Winnipeg Board Member, for his assistance with images. 

To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

The Dominion Hotel, later known as the Blue Note Café, at 218-224 Main Street was demolished in 2011. The place where it stood remains empty, the silhouette still visible on the adjacent Winnipeg Hotel. Before it was an iconic hangout for Winnipeg musicians, the home of the Blue Note Café was everything from a hotel to a barbershop.

In 1872, the Hudson's Bay Company surrendered all but 450 acres of land to the Dominion of Canada. The remaining land was surveyed and sold off to form the town of "Selkirk" (not to be confused with the current city of Selkirk). Lot 18, where the Dominion Hotel was later built, was purchased in July of 1872 by Charles Garratt, of the Garratt House Hotel for $1250. Lots purchased along Main …

Two Winnipeg Carnegie Libraries: Cornish and St. John's

Article by Rushika Khatkar & Laura McKay, on behalf  Heritage Winnipeg Corp.  
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

This is a continuation from a previous post, Free and Open to All: A History of Winnipeg's Libraries.


Libraries are pillars in their communities, places whereto spend hours browsing for books, learning something new in the resource section, doing classwork on the public computers, or participating in excitingprograms.There are three libraries in Winnipeg thathave beenpart of their communities for over a hundred years. One of these was the Carnegie Library at 380 Williams Avenue, spoken about in the blog post above.  

Built in 1905, the library was enough at the time but the city was rapidly expanding, predicted to bethe Chicago of the North and with a city population that big, the demand on public services would be far greater.

Only two years after the Carnegie Library opened, the question of bra…

Heritage On Main: The Macdonald and Fortune Blocks at 226-234 Main Street

Article by Laura McKay, on behalf of Heritage Winnipeg Corp. 
Thank you to Heritage Winnipeg Board Member, Greg Agnew, for his assistance with images. 
To follow up on this or any other articles on the blog, contact Heritage Winnipeg's Executive Director.

The Fortune and Macdonald Blocks from 226-234 Main Street are two separate buildings but have a history as connected as the buildings themselves. If you're directionally challenged, like myself, the Fortune Block is the one on the corner of Main and St. Mary's, whereas the Macdonald Block is the addition a bit further down on Main Street.

In 1869, the Hudson's Bay Company surrendered all but 450 acres of Rupert's Land to the Dominion of Canada. The land that remained was laid out as a town they called "Selkirk" in 1872 and the first lots began to be auctioned off later that same year. It was through this auctioning off that Molyneux St. John purchased lots 19 and 20 for $1325 and $1750 respectively. With th…