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Showing posts from August, 2018

A Community Cornerstone - The Ambassador Apartments

The Ambassador Apartments, also known as the Breadalbane Block, are located at 379 Hargrave Street in the Central Park area of downtown. A historic apartment block, the 8th oldest in the city, the Ambassador Apartments have the distinctive "flatiron" shape and Neoclassical design elements of the early 20th century. This building received municipal heritage designation on May 5th, 1986. 

Imagine - you are a single young man newly arrived in Winnipeg in the year 1912. Perhaps you've immigrated from another part of the country, or another country altogether. Hearing about the prosperous City of Winnipeg (right in the middle of the Wheat Boom), you decided to head West and make your fortune, as an architect or in construction. When you arrive in Winnipeg, you've already arranged your accomodations - you'll be living with other fairly well-off young men in an apartment building. Apartments have grown in popularity in the past few decades, and are now far more sophisti…

Welcome to Albert Street! A Tour of Heritage Winnipeg's Home

Usually, our blog posts feature one particular building, providing its history and social significance while also informing readers on current state and use of that building. This week, our blog will feature something a little different. We'd like to take you on a brief tour of Albert Street, where the Heritage Winnipeg office is located, as a way of showcasing the density of historic buildings in the west Exchange District. If you'd like to, picture yourself on the corner of Albert Street and McDermot Street - you're about to turn south and walk down Albert Street. One of the very first buildings you can see is the Telegram Building, standing at 70 Albert Street and dominating the street corner.


The Telegram building was constructed in 1882 during one of the first building booms in Winnipeg, in anticipation of the railway's arrival. Originally a dry-goods warehouse for Irish wholesaler Robert James Whitla, the building became the home of the Telegram Publishing Compa…

Adaptive Art Deco - The Women's Tribute Memorial Lodge

The year was 1931. The world had just entered the Great Depression, following the collapse of Wall Street and other stock markets around the globe. The Lost Generation, who lived through the horrors of the Great War, were still recovering from its effects. Many of the veterans who returned from the war were profoundly scarred from their experiences. It was in this climate that the Women's Tribute Memorial Lodge was opened in St. James, at the corner of Portage Avenue and Woodlawn Street.

The building of the lodge at 200 Woodlawn Street was the result of over a decade's worth of fundraising. Shortly before the end of the Great War, in 1917, C.P. Walker's wife Harriet (of the Walker/Burton Cummings Theatre at 364 Smith Street) organized a group of women into the Women's Tribute Association. Their first meeting was at the Central Congregational Church (demolished in 1936) where they determined their mandate - to construct and open a "perpetual monument to Manitoba&#…

Heritage at Risk: Mathewson House - Dalnavert's "Big Sister"

Dalnavert House is well known in the heritage and historic communities in Winnipeg as a beautiful restoration of a Victorian home. Still more people are aware of Dalnavert's owner, the Honourable Hugh John Macdonald, son of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald. As a valued heritage treasure, Dalnavert enjoys protection as a designated heritage building.

Walk a little further south down Carlton, take a right on Assiniboine and, just past Edmonton, you'll see a derelict, unoccupied, gaudily-painted house at the address 432 Assiniboine Avenue. Though it may not look like it, this house is just as much of a treasure as Dalnavert - and deservingof the same protection and care as its little sister. And these houses are sisters, in fact: the same era, same architect, and their respective ownersMathewson and Macdonald, were friends. Although the historical resources are limited in respect to this building, what we were able to find only cements its prominence.
Mathewson House, at 432 Assini…

A Tour through Time with the Exchange District BIZ

The Exchange District BIZ holds a number of historical guided walking tours, both 90-minute general tours and 60-minute special interest tours. Last week, Heritage Winnipeg staff & students had the opportunity to experience two of these fantastic tours. If you'd like to experience one of these great walking tours for yourself, you can visit the Exchange BIZ's page here. Tours are $10 per person for 90 minutes and $8 for 60 minute tours. Tours run May-August, Monday to Saturday, between 9-6. Email or call to make an appointment.


Art and Architecture Tour

The Art and Architecture tour started off with an introduction to our tour guide, Victoria - who incidentally took us on both tours that day. At the beginning, she asked us whether we would prefer to have more historical information or architectural information. Not being architecturally informed, we chose the historical focus. However, we were impressed with the option being given, which would give this tour a broader appea…