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Showing posts from August, 2016

A History of 120 King's Street

Before you could go for a drink at The King’s Head Pub, 120 King Street held a variety of industries within its walls. The architect was Joseph Greenfield, whose career is not well documented. It is difficult to say exactly what buildings in Winnipeg he worked on due to poor records. We know that he was born in England in 1845, and moved to Toronto where he trained as an architect. He moved to Winnipeg in 1885. He worked for McCoskrie and Co., a firm that did a lot of designs for buildings in Winnipeg, Brandon, and small towns between the two. In 1903 Greenfield became the Superintendent for Public Works with the Dominion Government. He retired in 1910, and unfortunately died that same year.
120 King Street is a Romanesque revivial style building made with buff-coloured brick, with a limestone foundation. The building’s exterior remains virtually unchanged since its construction, with one notable exception. The main entrance is on the far left of the building, but historic photographs s…

Milner House - Heritage Home Finds New Life in the Community

Located at 51 Balmoral Street, Milner House was built in 1909 and stands alone on the east side of Balmoral Street. It is the only remaining home from the turn on the century on this side of the street, although most all of the homes across the street have remained virtually unchanged and intact since the First World War. The homes that sat adjacent to Milner House were all demolished in the 1970s, and it has stood alone ever since. Milner House has been vacant since 1990, but now, two and a half decades later, this heritage home will find new life in the community.

Milner House is a fine example of Dutch Colonial and this style of architecture originated in the North American Dutch colonies, present-day New Jersey and New York. One of the common features of Dutch Colonial style is the gambrel roof, the type of roof you picture when you think of a red barn. In the early 1900s, Dutch Colonial became popular all across North America for suburban homes and cottages and it was especiall…

Our First and Last Streetcars

It's been 61 years since a streetcar drove on Winnipeg's roads. Streetcars were once one of the primary methods of transportation in Winnipeg. Albert W. Austin was the president and founder of the Winnipeg Street Railway Company. Austin came from Toronto to Winnipeg in 1880 and founded the company that same year, at the age of 23. His father was the president of the Dominion Bank of Toronto and provided significant investment for Austin's new company.

The very first streetcars were pulled by horses. Albert fought a battle with City Hall to introduce electric streetcars, but city council didn't like his idea. They were nervous of the electricity that would be required on Main Street and they saw it as a potential hazard to public safety. They told Austin he could run his new electric streetcars on River Avenue, which at that time, was mostly bush, with no street at all.

Although likely meant to deter Austin and get him to leave the issue of electric streetcars alone, Au…