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Showing posts from November, 2019

An Industrial Rehabilitation: The Making of the Manitoba Children's Museum

A familiar haunt for family outings, school trips, and birthday parties the Manitoba Children’s Museum (45 Forks Market Road) has been a mainstay of the Forks since they took over CNR Bridges and Structures Building in 1994.

This was not the easiest of transitions to make; The CNR Bridges and Structures building is the oldest still-standing structure in the Forks and had been built as a repair station for trains. It was definitely not built to act as a playground and learning center for children. Years of disuse leading up to 1994 added the additional challenge of bringing the building back up to code. It was a daunting task, but enough people saw potential in the abandoned repair shop to bring new life back to an old building.

When the CNR Building opened in 1889, it was part of a larger complex built at the Forks site. Owned by the Northern Pacific and Manitoba Railway, this would include a train station, hotel, and two freight sheds. At the time, railroads were expanding rapidly a…

The Many Faces of the Ryan House: 5 East Gate

In a quiet neighbourhood tucked into a generous bend of the Assiniboine River sits a “suburban haven” known as Armstrong’s Point. Home to many of Winnipeg’s prominent citizens, the neighbourhood was developed between the 1880s and the early 1900s. Drawn to the relative seclusion and spacious lots, Winnipeg’s well-to-do built an eclectic array of homes, from well appointed family residences to sprawling mansions. Some of these grand estates, like the striking Ravenscourt Manor, have been lost, while many still remain, sheltering generations of Winnipegger’s beneath their elegant roofs.

Thomas Ryan and his family moved to Armstrong’s Point in 1906, taking up residence in a handsome new mansion designed by architect William Wallace Blair at 5 East Gate. Set on lots one and two, the Ryan House, by all accounts, was stunning. Two and a half stories of red brick and white trim set upon a stone foundation with an imposing two storey portico supported by four Doric columns, the Georgian Reviv…

Military Maneuvers: Remembering the Fort Osborne Barracks

There have been a variety of Fort Osborne’s in Winnipeg.

The very first opened in 1873, along the banks of the Assiniboine River. A wooden fort, much like Fort Garry and Fort Gibraltar, it sat on the lot that would one day become home to the Manitoba Legislature. The Fort's wooden structures would be torn down and replaced as Winnipeg grew – though the Fort remained on in the same location well into the First World War. It was here that the Royal Canadian Mounted Battalion, Lord Strathcona’s Horse and Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry would congregate and train during the early years of the war effort.

A sketch of the original Fort Osborne in 1873.
Source: Toronto Public Library Digital Collection.

As concerns mounted about “enemy aliens” in Canada over the course of the First World War, the government of Canada began utilizing Fort Osborne as a processing station for the thousands of Germans and Ukrainians who were sent to internment camps in the 1910s. Known as the W…

The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike: Russell Sedition Trial

As 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, Heritage Winnipeg is commemorating the year by looking back at the events during this tumultuous period of history that helped shape our city. This article is part of a series of guest posts reflecting on the some of the places that bore witness to the Strike and the events leading up to it.  Read the previous blogs in this series:   Walker Theatre Meeting Sets the Stage Population Growth and the Canadian Pacific Railway Station The Western Labour Conference in Calgary Breaking Point - Contract Negotiations Stall  The Strike Shuts Down Winnipeg Veterans Protest With and Against the Strike Specials and Strikers Riot
Bloody Saturday
November 1919, Court House:

When the Strike ended, the police and legal officials had eight men out on bail (Armstrong, Bray, Heaps, Ivens, Johns, Queen, Pritchard, Russell) and four men in jail (Charitonoff, Schoppelrie, Alamazoff, Verenchuk) but were not sure what to do with them.

The men had…