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Showing posts from 2017

A Holy Transformation: First Church of Christ, Scientist

On the north east corner of River Avenue and Nassau Street in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village sits a stately building reminiscent of a Greek temple. It was originally built as a place of worship, but not for the likes of Zeus or Athena. It was the burgeoning First Church of Christ, Scientist who erected the building, a grand church designed to accommodate a large flock. But in time the First Church of Christ, Scientist left the building and it’s fate seemed doomed as a Greek tragedy. But fate smiled kindly on the church, with new owners finding creative ways to make the heritage building shine bright again.

Mary Baker Eddy was born in 1821 in Bow, New Hampshire, to a family of devout Congregationalists. Although she was interested in religion from a young age and studied the Bible, Eddy was unappeased by the Calvinist doctrine imposed on her, always in search of something more. At 45, Eddy slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk, leaving her badly injured and bedridden. With no family for supp…

Cheers to West Broadway's Community Heritage!

On the corner of Langside Street and Sara Avenue an unassuming three story brick building has sat for over one hundred years. A long time grocery store, the building is located in the heart of the West Broadway, one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. The building has quietly watched the neighbourhood rise, fall and rise again, serving the community as both a grocery store and apartment. It changed owners many times over the years, but remained a cornerstone in the neighbourhood, looking much the same as it did when first built. In the fall of 2017, the once grocery store was reborn as a restaurant, breathing new life into an old space, where locals can once again gather, nourishing their bodies and souls.
Born in Ireland in 1814, James Mulligan came to Canada with the British military in 1848. Mulligan was promised some land upon completion of his military service, which seems to have ended with an early retirement after he lost an arm. A river lot on the north shores of the Assinibo…

Main Street Heritage Becomes Urban Home

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Scott Block has been reincarnated numerous times, all the while retaining its original character, as a timeless landmark on Main Street in Winnipeg. The block was originally constructed for a furniture company during Winnipeg’s boom period at the turn of the 20th century but bad luck seemed to follow it though the next century, constantly undoing the efforts of its well intended owners. Fortunately, bad luck is no match for perseverance. In 2017 a rehabilitated Scott Block was filled with life once again, a testament to the determination of the owners, Heritage Winnipeg and the City of Winnipeg to preserve priceless heritage on Main Street while adapting to a new century.

Thomas Scott was 29 years old when he first arrived in Manitoba in May of 1870, commanding a unit of the Ontario Rifles in the first Red River Expedition. The founder of the Perth Exposition, Scott was the son of Irish immigrants who had settled in Ontario. Scott’s first stay …

James Henry Ashdown – From Tinsmith to Titan

James Henry Ashdown was eight years old when his family emigrated from London, England to Upper Canada in 1852. Ashdown’s family lived in several places in Ontario before Ashdown left home at 18 to become a tinsmith’s apprentice. After his apprenticeship, Ashdown went to Kansas to work construction in Fort Zarah. After ten months of construction, Ashdown was ready for something new and headed north, destine for the Red River Settlement in Manitoba. Ashdown arrived in June of 1868 and quickly set about finding work. Cutting wood on the banks of the Assiniboine River, helping build the St. Charles Catholic Church and working on a survey crew were just some of the jobs he took up. Ashdown scrimped and save, amassing enough savings to buy George Moser’s tinsmith shop at the corner of Portage Avenue and Main Street in Winnipeg in 1869. After purchasing an additional lot at the same intersection, Ashdown erected a sign there officially announcing the business as “James H. Ashdown Hardware a…