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Showing posts from November, 2015

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 …

Armstrong's Point: A Heritage Conservation District In the Making

Plans are underway to designate one of Winnipeg's oldest neighbourhoods as the City's first residential Heritage Conservation District (the Exchange District is another area that has this designation). The City of Winnipeg has completed a Heritage Conservation District Study for the area and the next phase will yield a plan proposing ways to conserve, protect, and celebrate the neighbourhood's distinct historic character.

There are many reasons why Armstrong's Point was chosen to become Winnipeg's first residential Heritage Conservation District:
1) The Unique Layout and Configuration The peninsula formed by a large bend in the Assiniboine River creates a distinct 22-hectare (54 acre) community with a unique streetscape and layout. The historic gateposts at the entrance to each of the neighbourhood's three streets also help to define an area with a unique streetscape and geographic boundaries.

Prior to European contact, the area was a gathering spot for Indigenous…

First World War Digital Memorial Coming Soon to Winnipeg's Union Station (VIA Rail Canada)


Winnipeg's Union Station will soon be host to a digital display commemorating the First World War and those Canadians who lost their lives as members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. 

Aimed at acknowledging the 100th anniversary of Canada's involvement in WWI - which began in 1914, although Canadians did not participate until early in 1915 - the digitally-enhanced memorial will be housed in the VIA Rail Canada rotunda from approximately February 2016 until the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, on November 11, 2018. Additionally, the content will be made available for broader public access on a website later this year. 

Councillor Bryan Mayes was the driving force behind Heritage Winnipeg's involvement in the project, creating a uniqueand long-term memorial in a high traffic area, as well as in a building that had a pivotal role in World War I. To date, the Councillors from the City of Winnipeg have donated $30,000 in support of the project, making up about h…

Heritage On Main: The Cadomin Building at 280 Main Street

In 1906, the completion of the T. Eaton Company store shifted the retail centre of Winnipeg from Main Street to Portage Avenue. However, despite this shift, businesses continued to build along Main Street north of Portage, particularly along what is known as "Banker's Row" - roughly the area of Main Street from Portage to William Avenue - where the opulent regional headquarters of the country's major banks stood.

South of Portage, Main Street continued as it had for decades, as the home for hotels, small shops, and apartment blocks. The Cadomin Building joined this group in 1912, constructed as a modest two-part commercial block.

This multi-use style of building can be traced back to Roman times and was immensely popular throughout both Europe and North America. The first and upper floors of these buildings are divided both in function and occasionally in exterior design, with the lower levels reserved for retail while the upper floors housed residential, office, o…