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Showing posts from July, 2017

The St. Regis Hotel – Paradise Lost to a Parkade

The drive for progress in Winnipeg is dealing a cruel and ironic hand to the St. Regis Hotel. The hotel bears the name of the patron saint of lace makers, who was renowned for providing for the poor, helping them become self-sufficient and regain their dignity. The historic hotel contains a similar potential, to provide shelter and break the cycle of poverty for those most in need. Instead the hotel seems doomed to meet a destructive end, with Heritage Winnipeg giving one final prayer that last minute funding will be found in time to save at least some of its finest heritage features.

In 1882, Winnipeg was the place to be in Canada. The meeting point of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers had flourished into a robust young city, with a booming real estate market. People and money seemed to flow in endlessly and the future could not have looked brighter. Seizing the opportunity to partake in the prosperity, Morton Keachie opened the Palace Livery and Boarding Stables on Smith Street, less t…

The Rubin Block - HERITAGE AT RISK

Sitting abandoned at the corner of Morley Avenue and Osborne Street in Winnipeg is the Rubin Block. The depressing boarded up façade gives few hints of the rich period during which it was built, when Winnipeg was a booming modern city, drawing in people from across the globe. But the Rubin Block’s early glory was short lived. Winnipeg fell into a depression and the building seem unable to recover. It passed through time relatively undocumented, only making the news when disaster struck it. Today it is being brought to the forefront of the public’s attention once again. An effort is being made by Heritage Winnipeg and community leaders to revive the failing building and give it the opportunity to fulfill its true potential as a valuable part of the streetscape and community.

When Winnipeg was incorporated as a city in 1873, it was a small blip on the map of Canada, a "collection of shacks” (Historica Canada) with the population of only 3700 a year later. It was not until the Canad…

The Assiniboine Park Conservatory – From Palm Trees to Diversity

Tucked behind towering trees in a lush natural setting sits the unassuming building that is the Assiniboine Park Conservatory. Located at 15 Conservatory Drive, the quiet demure of the building conceals over one hundred years of history and a plan to make a quantum leap into the present. Born of the Victorian Era and the City Beautiful movement, the Conservatory was a part of the birth of the City of Winnipeg public parks system. Over the years the Conservatory has gracefully withstood the test of time, providing a year round tropical retreat in the midst of the Canadian prairies. Reaching the end of its functional lifespan, the Conservatory is set to be reborn as a modern center for flora education and awareness, where the cultural heritage of Canada will be proudly displayed for all visitors to see.
During the Victorian Era (1837 to 1901), there was an increased interest in public gardens, as these gardens were seen as a means of improving the lower class and dispersing social unrest…