MONEY TALKS: Tales from Bankersí Row

Greg Agnew from Heritage Winnipeg presented a visual presentation of Winnipeg’s “Bankers’ Row” at noon on December 5, in the Carol Shields Auditorium at the Millennium Library.


By the turn of the century, between City Hall and Portage and Main there existed over 20 banks and financial institutions. Greg dressed in period costume and entertained his audience with tall tales of this vibrant historic area.



Thank you Greg for a great presentation and to the Millennium Library!

Heritage Winnipeg products available online!

Heritage Winnipeg is proud to announce that we are now offering our products in our online store.
Visit the online store to browse Streetcar '356' t-shirts, our historic map of Winnipeg, and Randy Rostecki's history of Armstrong's Point.

Also, check out Robert Sweeney's sketches in our online store.

Airport Terminal Memories: Two CBC Videos

CBC has put up two great videos about the 1964 Winnipeg air terminal on their website.

Here is a look back at memories of the terminal, including an interview with Bernard Brown, one of the original designers, and excellent archival footage of famous landings at the airport. The video is about 3 minutes.

Here is a documentary CBC did on the airport when it first opened in 1964. About 12 minutes long.

Success at City Hall: Monte Cassino Court and Milner House!

Success! Two historic buildings have been saved from the wrecking ball recently. 

Monte Cassino Court, 639 Portage Ave.

The Standing Policy Committee on Downtown Development, Heritage and Riverbank Management, at their October 3 meeting, recommended that "the former Monte Cassino Court Building, 639 Portage Avenue, remain on the Inventory of Buildings under the terms of Historical Buildings By-law No. 1474/77, as the proposed development for this property is not being proceeded with."

This recommendation was ratified by City Council on October 19.

The minutes of the October 3 meeting can be found here (pdf).

See our previous posts on Monte Cassino court here (Sept 12) and here (Sept 2).

Milner House, 51 Balmoral St.

The Standing
Policy Committee on Downtown Development, Heritage and Riverbank Management, at their October 31 meeting, recommended that "Milner House, 51 Balmoral Street, not be removed from the Buildings Conservation List under the terms of the Historical Buildings By-law No. 1474/77.

This recommendation will go on to the Executive Policy Committee and City Council.

The minutes of the October 31 meeting can be found here (pdf).

See our previous post on Milner House here (Sept 2).

We congratulate the City Councillors, especially Councillors Swandel, Gerbasi, Havixbeck, and Browaty, for wisely opting to protect these buildings. They are safe from demolition for the time being. This provides an opportunity for proposals of viable re-uses for these historical buildings. Lets hope that the owners can come to the table with interested parties and work out a solution that will benefit Winnipeg as a whole. Lets have more successes like these!

Upper Fort Garry Update: Grain Exchange Curling Club Demolition

Demolition has begun on the Grain Exchange Curling Club to make way for construction of the Upper Fort Garry Heritage Park and Interpretive Centre. David McDowell photographed the beginning of demolition.
copyright David McDowell, Clio & Associatescopyright David McDowell, Clio & Associates
copyright David McDowell, Clio & Associatescopyright David McDowell, Clio & Associates
copyright David McDowell, Clio & Associatescopyright David McDowell, Clio & Associates
copyright David McDowell, Clio & Associatescopyright David McDowell, Clio & Associates
copyright David McDowell, Clio & Associatescopyright David McDowell, Clio & Associates
copyright David McDowell, Clio & Associates

Hermetic Code Tour being marketed as premiere tourist destination

See the story in the Winnipeg Free Press here.

"The secret design elements of the Manitoba Legislative Building are now being marketed as part of an international tourism campaign. The Canadian Tourism Commission announced this morning that it has added the Hermetic Code Tour to its list of premiere tourist destinations." - Winnipeg Free Press, Oct 19, 2011

Manitoba Legislative Building

The Hermetic Code tour is based on the book by architectural historian Frank Albo. The book explores the occult and mythological symbolism built into the Legislative building and the Masonic connections of its architecture.

Frank Albo's website can be found here.


Frank Albo. source: Winnipeg Free Press

Airport Terminal Getting Attention

Update December 2011: Unfortunately, the old airport terminal has been demolished. Some of the artwork on display at the old terminal can still be found in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba, while some of the artwork was sent to Ottawa for display in a museum. Read here for more information.

Winnipeg's modernist air terminal is in danger of demolition once the new terminal opens at the end of October. Heritage Winnipeg has been advocating for its preservation and adaptive re-use. The threat to the Winnipeg Airport terminal has been getting a lot of media attention this week. Below are a few of the highlights.

CBC has an online poll asking whether the 1964 air terminal is worth saving. Please take a moment to vote here.

Gordon Sinclair, Jr. wrote a column in the Winnipeg Free Press: "Why Our Terminal Shouldn't Be Terminated"
Read the article here.

Elizabeth Fleming also had an article in the Winnipeg Free Press's View from the West: "Don't Rush To Demolish Heritage"
Read the article here.

Terry MacLeod interviewed Arni Thorsteinson of Shelter Canadian Properties on CBC Information Radio. Mr. Thorsteinson spoke about a proposal by Shelter Canadian to use part of the air terminal for commercial space and to renovate part of it to house the Western Canada Aviation Museum.
Listen to the interview here.

Steven Stothers has dug up a 1964 article on the Winnipeg air terminal, as well other modernist terminals in Canada, from Canadian Arts magazine. It provides some perspective on the impact of the art and architecture of the terminal when it was originally built.
Check it out here.

We will keep you posted on further developments regarding the 1964 Winnipeg air terminal. Don't forget to vote in the CBC poll!

Winnipeg Airport Terminal - threatened with demolition!

Robert Sweeney's Sketches available for purchase!

Our website is debuting Robert Sweeney’s sketches online.
Robert Sweeney is a local artist and designer who has for 30 years been sketching many wonderful pictures of historical and architectural landmarks of Winnipeg. His work brings to life the bygone days of the city and shows it in its best light. He recently launched a book of his sketches, Portraits of Winnipeg: The River City in Pen and Ink.

Visitors to the online store will be able to order prints of Sweeney’s sketches in various sizes and formats. Part of the proceeds will go to Heritage Winnipeg.
Check out Mr. Sweeney’s sketches at:

City Hall Update: Monte Cassino Court, Sam Steele School, and the River Heights Lawn Bowling Club

An update on advocacy issues from the Sept 12 session of the Standing Policy Committee on Downtown Development, Heritage and Riverbank Mangement at City Hall. Councillors Swandel, Browaty, Gerbasi, and Havixbeck were present. Monte Cassino Court is safe for now. Habitat for Humanity plans to demolish Sir Sam Steele School to build affordable homes. And we have a new addition to the Heritage Conservation List: River Heights Lawn Bowling Club!

Documents of the Sept 12 session can be found

Monte Cassino Court, 639 Portage Ave.

We reported in our last post that the developer of 639 Portage Ave., which is currently on the Inventory of Historical Buildings, had applied to demolish and redevelop the site. This would require that Monte Cassino Court not be placed on the Buildings Conservation List. Mark Theisen, the owner of the building, informed the committee on Sept 12 that the developer had backed out and the proposal would no longer be pursued. With the proposal off the table, the Councillors decided to leave Monte Cassino on the Historical Buildings Inventory unchanged. 639 Portage Avenue is once again up for sale or lease, waiting for someone enterprising to take on its redevelopment.

Sir Sam Steele School, 15 Chester St.

See the story in the Winnipeg Free Press here.
See the report of the Historical Buildings Committee here.

Habitat for Humanity applied to demolish this old school, listed on the Buildings Conservation List, to build affordable housing. The committee approved the plan to de-list the building to make way for demolition because it is in very poor condition. The roof leaks and there is no plumbing, and equally importantly, the building lacks community support for redevelopment. This is an unfortunate result of the neglect of the building for many years. Heritage Winnipeg has made a proposal to the City to encourage owners of heritage buildings to maintain them in order to prevent demolition by neglect.

It is our understanding that Habitat for Humanity will re-use bricks from the school and include a commemoration of Sir Sam Steele.

River Heights Lawn Bowling Club, 1360 Grosvenor Ave.
image from Google Street View

Download the administrative report (including a short history of the building) here.

This historic Lawn Bowling Club will be placed on the Heritage Conservation List as a Grade III Heritage Building "based only on the age, special historical and architectural significance of the property." Owner Rick Strauss was quite happy about the recognition of the Club, which has been continuously operating for over 100 years.

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