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The Offical Blog of Heritage Winnipeg Has Moved!

As of April 24, 2020, the Office Blog of Heritage Winnipeg has moved to the new Heritage Winnipeg website! Please be sure to update your bookmarks to stay up to date with all the latest heritage blogs. If you are a blog subscriber, no changes need to be made, your subscription will automatically redirect you to the blog's new home. In addition to new blog posts, all your favourite old blogs will also be available on the new website, while this website will remain active to ensure everyone has time to adjust. Thank you for supporting the Heritage Winnipeg Blog!


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The Caron House Carries On

Paul Sullivan, writing for the Winnipeg Free Press, once wrote of the Caron House "[it] stares out at the Assiniboine River like an old blind woman in her rocking chair, getting the sun." At the time the Caron House was some 78 years old, and as Sullivan continued, was a "stately three storey brick building, classic." This is still an apt description for the Caron House at 50 Cass Street in Charleswood. Carefully restored and cared for, it is one of only a few remaining farmhouses within Winnipeg's city limits. Admittedly, driving through Charleswood today it is difficult to image the area as sprawling farmlands or even as the unsettled prairie it was before. Nevertheless, that is where the story of Caron House begins.


The Catholic Parish of St. Charles was created in 1859, in the area now known as Charleswood. Since the 1820s, Metis families had lived in the area and it was used as a popular wintering spot for those who took part in the spring and summer buffa…

Caring for the Community - The Winnipeg Hebrew Free School

Located in the North End, on the corner of Magnus Avenue and Andrews Street, is a red brick building covered in murals. Today, this building is the home of the United Way’s Andrews Street Family Centre, with safe and supportive spaces that offer basic needs for the surrounding community. However, long before the Centre opened, the building already housed a rich social history focused on helping its surrounding community. Originally known as the Winnipeg Hebrew Free School (Talmud Torah), it functioned as an educational institution for the Jewish community. The institution operated during the first half of the 20th century, addressing the growing demand for children to attend a Hebrew Free School. The educational system itself can be traced back to the concerning lack of Jewish education in the late 1800s, which marked a turning point in the Jewish community’s educational system in Winnipeg.


Though there were a small handful of Jewish families that lived in Winnipeg prior, the real sta…

The Promise of Our Lady of the Good Heart

There is a small chapel in a park across the street from the church of St. Norbert's Parish, at 80 Rue St. Pierre. It has no door, only a small iron-wrought fence. A statue of the Virgin Mary watches over the space from her place at the rear of the sanctuary. This small chapel, named La Chapelle de Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Secour (or, Our Lady of the Good Heart), dates back to 1875 and represents a promise kept to the St. Norbert Community.


St. Norbert, at the time,  was a small French-Catholic community made up prominently of M├ętis farm families. It had been this way since the 1820s, when the merger of the Northwest Company and the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) left many unemployed. As early as the 1830s, the HBC's census recorded at least 72 heads of family in St. Norbert. Heads of families in this case meant men, so we do not know the exact number of women and children present in the settlement. Regardless, the growing population caught the eye of the Grey Nuns in St. Boniface, w…

Hospital Histories: The Winnipeg Municipal Hospital

Two archways are hidden on the grounds of the Riverview Health Centre at 1 Morley Avenue. Carved into the archway's pediments are a stylized cross and the words "NURSES ENTRANCE", giving two small hints into what the doorways were once attached too. Plaques sit nearby for curious passerby's to read about the history of these architectural fragments, and to learn of what came before the Riverview Health Centre.


Since 1912, the property at 1 Morley Avenue has had a hospital. At the time it was a city owned facility with just one building. Over the course of the 20th century, this would grow from one hospital building to three: the King Edward Hospital (1912), the King George Isolation Hospital (1914), and the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (1950). Together these three buildings were known as the Winnipeg Municipal Hospital.



The first of the buildings to open, the King Edward Memorial Hospital, was designed by architect George Teeter. The King Edward Hospital had a centra…

The Redemption of 635 Sargent Avenue

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) located on 635 Sargent Avenue kicked off the year with a 2020 Heritage Winnipeg Institutional Conservation Award of Excellence. The conservation project beautifully renovated the interior while upholding the building's rich history as a communal hub, a role it has maintained since its 1906 construction.


Before it became the home of the RCCG, the building was originally known as the International Order of Good Templars Hall (I.O.G.T.). The I.O.G.T was a fraternal order that stemmed from the temperance movement in the United States and promoted personal abstinence from alcohol as well as condemned the manufacturing and sale of liquor.  Founded under the leadership of Wesley Bailey, the Order of Good Templar came into existence in 1851 and the movement quickly spread to both Canada and Europe. Part of the organization's appeal was its acceptance of both men and women, and the lower middle class.  Winnipeg's I.O.G.T. chapter was form…