Heritage Gem Empty Again (Winnipeg Sun Article)
Update March 4, 2014: St. Charles Owner Fights Heritage Label in Court Action
Update August 8, 2013: The owner of the St. Charles Hotel has complied with the bylaw, and the building is now up to code. Future plans for the building are still unknown, but the owner will retain ownership. Future updates will be posted on this page as the information is acquired.
Located at the northwest corner of Albert Street and Notre Dame Avenue, this three-storey structure was built in 1913. Since 2008, Heritage Winnipeg has been working with the hotel’s owner to help him redevelop the hotel, but the owner has not cooperated. Without a sprinkler system to protect it as part of the Vacant and Derelict Buildings bylaw, this building is at future risk, and Heritage Winnipeg has encouraged the city to take the property so that a new owner can convert the building into a successful heritage project that can once again function as an integral part of the Exchange District.
On May 27, 2013, the issue was taken back to the Standing Committee on Downtown Development, Heritage and Riverbank Management. Heritage Winnipeg spoke on behalf of the city taking the title and have put out, through CentreVenture Development Corporation, a public “Request for Proposal” to purchase and restore this heritage building.
Located along the Red River in Winnipeg's Exchange District, the James Avenue Pumping Station was built in 1906 in response to the challenges the city faced during a large fire on Main Street in 1904. At the time, the city could not generate enough water pressure to successfully fight the fire, so firefighters had to use untreated river water as a resource and release it into the main lines. Unfortunately, this caused a typhoid outbreak due to contamination of the city's drinking water. As a result, the pumping station was created to assist with future firefighting. The brick one-storey station opened in 1907. With a capacity to pump up to 9,000 gallons of water per minute, the James Avenue Pumping Station was the largest facility of its kind globally. Decommissioned in 1986 by the City of Winnipeg, the building has not been in use since then.
Various ideas on what to do with the abandoned historical building have been suggested and subsequently declined due to the costs associated with the different projects. What makes this building even more difficult to redevelop is being able to incorporate the architectural character and history of the building into the new design. Neglecting to do so would defeat the purpose of trying to preserve this heritage building. The current and most promising proposal to date for the James Avenue Pumping Station is a mixed-use 24-storey high-rise tower that will preserve the original brick structure and pumping equipment of the historical building on the ground floor. Upper floors can potentially serve as office space, retail space, small restaurants, apartments, and/or condominiums
Projected design for the potential high-rise tower to be built at the James Avenue Pumping Station.
Winnipeg Sun (8/8/13): Big Plans for James Avenue Pumping Station
2012 Pumping Station Conundrum Article
Winnipeg Free Press Article - December 16, 2013
Winnipeg Free Press Article - January 6, 2014
Winnipeg Free Press Article - Exchange District Tower approved - January 6, 2014
Winnipeg Free Press Article - January 8, 2014
CBC Manitoba News Article - 24-storey OK'd for Tower- January 6, 2014
Winnipeg Free Press Article- January 10, 2014
Winnipeg Sun Article - January 10, 2014 - Pumping station backer never claimed-to be an architect
Winnipeg Free Press Article - January 13, 2014
APTIS is a charitable organization whose operations are governed by a board of directors. To date, some of their most noteworthy achievements include
- "Raising $2,500,000 in donations prior to having a market presence
- Purchasing land and building in St. Boniface for the future development of a new 40 room facility
- Engaging Bridgman Collaborative Architectures Ltd. to prepare architectural plans and prepare Class B estimates for the new facility
- Committing Ambassador Gary Doer to be the official spokesperson for the organization
- Establishing a market presence by temporarily leasing space from Villa Aulneau until the new facility is complete"
In order for APTIS to achieve its goals, they need to raise the funds needed to support their operations and capital development. They currently have two fundraising campaigns - an operational one to subsidize rental rates paid by guests and a capital one to develop the new facility
Vision for the Future:
APTIS intends to renovate and restore the 210 Rue Mason heritage building. The project is expected to be funded completely through fundraising efforts and donations. This larger space will allow APTIS to better accommodate their guests and allow for intake of more patients. As owners of the facility, APTIS will be in direct control and thus are more unrestricted in making the decisions they see best fit in accordance with their mandate.
For more information, visit their website here.
Located in Winnipeg’s West Broadway area, the Milner House was purchased in 1991 by Great West Life Insurance Company (GWL), who initially had intentions of tearing it down and converting the space into a parking lot. This heritage building has been vacant since 1990. In 2011, Heritage Winnipeg spoke in opposition of de-listing at the Standing Committee Meeting. Subsequently, the City of Winnipeg rejected the company's plans to destroy the building.
However, the requirement of a rezoning application for the current parking layout surrounding the area has brought the Milner House back to the public’s attention. Residents of the area and stakeholders are arguing for the building’s preservation. A meeting between Heritage Winnipeg and West Broadway Community Organization was held in early July 2013 to discuss future plans for the Milner House. Stakeholders will be working together over the next several months to try and come up with a mutually acceptable solution on how to proceed regarding this historic house that will then subsequently be proposed to the owners. Any updates posted over the next few months will be found on this page.
For more information on the history of the Milner House:
The Canadian Bank of Commerce first opened their offices in Winnipeg in 1889. Designed by architects Darling and Pearson, the 1889 building was torn down and moved to another CIBC bank location in Regina in 1906. The current building occupying 389 Main Street (a similar but larger version of the former structure that was transferred) was designed by the same architects along with the help of Winnipeg's own Charles H. Wheeler. It officially opened in October 1912 and served as the site of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce until 1969. The building was vacated that year and remained so for approximately 30 years.
The Bank of Commerce is a significant piece of Winnipeg banking history, and in 1970, the Winnipeg City Council fought to prevent the destruction of this important landmark. For its protection, the building was subsequently given a Grade I Heritage Building status in 1979 by the City of Winnipeg. In 1999, a group of volunteers came together as the Winnipeg Millennium Council and initiated a project to restore, preserve, and revitalize the building. In 2000, the Marwest Group of Companies donated the building to the 389 Main Street Heritage Corporation, a non-profit corporation and charity. Forming a partnership with the 389 Main Street Heritage Corporation in 2002, Storm Catering would use the main floor banking hall to host special events and welcome the public back into the building.
While the main floor and basement are in use, the five upper floors remain vacant, and the Board of the 389 Main Street Heritage Corporation hopes to restore the entire building. Steps have been taken to develop a model and plan for utilizing the entire building. Having partnered with Artspace Inc. to generate a potential model, the Corporation envisions a fully restored building featuring art galleries and museums on the upper floors, while the main floor will serve as an information and resource centre. Any updates regarding the Millennium Centre will be posted on this page.
The Millennium Centre was awarded the 'Best Architecture' for our 2013 Doors Open Winnipeg Event. Click here to see all of 2013's Doors Open Winnipeg award recipients.
Here are some photos of the actors who performed for the tours at the Vaughan Street Jail during the 2013 Doors Open Event
To form a new colony near the Red River, Lord Selkirk recruited Scottish farmers and promised to provide them with a Presbyterian minister of their own if they came over; however, the Scottish settlers who arrived to Selkirk in the early 1810s waited approximately 40 years and had to make numerous petitions before that occurred. In 1851, Reverend John Black, the first resident Presbyterian minister in the West came to Kildonan, and the first Presbyterian Church in Western Canada was built shortly thereafter in 1854. Made of solid limestone and resembling the settlers' parish in Scotland, the building represents the faith and persistence of some of the first European settlers on the prairies.
The congregation of Kildonan Community Church was vacated in 1988 and in 2005, they concluded that they would no longer be using the building and began searching for proposals for reuse of the building. They eventually gave permission to eleven volunteers, now known as the Friends of Historic Kildonan Church, to restore the church. Restoration will include roof, wall, and window repair to waterproof the building.
Update (Aug 30, 2013): Please see our article on 'A Port in the Storm' here for information on the progression of this project.
The St. Boniface Normal School, built in 1902 and enlarged in 1928, stands as a symbol of the determination of francophones to sustain their language and culture through education. The stately though modest Neo-Classical styled structure was initially dedicated to the preparation of French-speaking teachers who were needed as a result of the 1896-1897 Laurier-Greenway compromise allowing for bilingual instruction in public schools.
Currently, Heritage Winnipeg, Enterprises Riel, Heritage St. Boniface, and other stakeholders have been working together with the new owners, Port In the Storm, to look at the different options for redevelopment of this heritage building.