The Raleigh Apartments - 340 Vaughan Street

The Raleigh Apartments: An Asset to the Community

The Raleigh is part of the historical integrity of our community.

Located in a small "heritage zone", the Raleigh is bordered by the Free Press Building, Isbister School, and the YMCA Building.

The Raleigh promotes neighbourhood safety.

This is an area of limited uses. Most of the local facilities are used only during the day and early night. The Free Press and YMCA buildings, Isbister School, the University of Winnipeg and Portage Place Mall are examples.

The Gordon Downtowner is the only use operational besides the Busses, the Raleigh and the Fred Douglas Place during late hours of the night at Vaughan and Ellice.

The Ellice strip is almost completely devoid of residential buildings facing the street.

However, the pressure of residents at the Raleigh is a deterrent to crime. People are constantly coming, going, listening and watching. They keep their feet, eyes and ears on the street, day and night. Therefore, the street is seldom completely abandoned, and thus does not provide an ideal haven for crime.

The Raleigh is an ideal dwelling for a variety of people.

This building offers space for students who attend the University of Winnipeg (the housing available through the university is quite limited), low income families and those who simply enjoy the heart of Winnipeg.

The Raleigh Apartments are an asset to the downtown area and to the people who live and work there.

Tenants Meeting Minutes
Knox United Church
Tuesday, July 17, 2001
7:00 P.M.

The meeting was held so that the tenants of Raleigh Apartments could voice their concerns over the proposed expansion of the Salvation Army (William and Catherine Booth College).

The process of the Salvation Army College expansion was set in motion without anyone knowing. Is there not an alternative expansion location for the Salvation Army College? Maybe somewhere in the downtown area where there are a lot of vacant buildings? Will the Salvation Army provide alternate housing for the residents of the area? The Raleigh Apartments is a good building that has good suites with good long-term residents. The residents have stated that they will not move out of that building. One resident has lived there for over sixteen years. The University of Winnipeg has selective housing and is only purchasing homes, not large blocks.

There has been a push by the City of Winnipeg to revitalize the downtown area, but that should not mean tearing down the residential apartment blocks. It was agree that the media exposure was very important. Someone asked if the Bay Downtown building was in trouble. More low-income housing is needed in the heart of the City. Councillor Harvey Smith was present, and the tenants wanted to see some action, not just empty promises. A Grade III heritage designation was recommended to Councillor Smith by the tenants for the Raleigh Apartment building. Someone suggested that the Central Park Residents Association collaborate and join the residents of Raleigh Apartments. The building is a healthy building that has had low vacancies, and is truly a jewel.

A hearing was held by the Planning and Property Development Committee of the City of Winnipeg on July 5, 2001. The report on the Raleigh Apartments was sent back for community consultation and will go back again to the Property and Planning Department for recommendations. The committee is also waiting for the recommendation from Centre Venture.

The residents of the Raleigh Apartments are to contact Jim August C.E.O. of Forks North Portage Partnership to present their long-term plan. There is a hypocrisy in motion; the Forks mandate is to have a healthy downtown with residential living- the apartments are an integral part of that area for modest income people. The residents will also try to get a Salvation Army College representative to speak with them at a meeting next week.

We are pleased to report that the sale of the Raleigh Apartments has been stopped. The Salvation Army has decided not to purchase the apartment block for the expansion of their College.
The History Of The Raleigh Apartments

One construction project that did not get cancelled during the depression years is the Raleigh Apartments, a large, 37-suite, three-storey apartment block located in the heart of Winnipeg’s downtown.

This block was designed by architect James W. Hawker, a British-trained architect who came to Winnipeg in the early 1920s. His first job was chief draughtsman for James Chisholm and Son, but his career quickly peaked when he became become President of the Manitoba Association of Architects in 1930. Hawker is credited with the design of many buildings including the Wiltshire Apartments on Spence Street, the John A. Forlong House (295 Dromore Avenue) and a retail block at 377 Portage Avenue.

The Raleigh Apartments are architecturally significant because of the style associated with the building– Art-Deco. The Art-Deco style is distinguishable by its flat, sharp edges and low-relief ornamentation, often with unique motifs: geometrical, naturalistic and man-made.
For the construction of the Raleigh Apartments, Hawker decided to use geometric accents, low-relief ornamentation and a vertical arrangement of the windows.

The Raleigh is one of dozens of modestly adorned, three-storey brick apartment blocks that dot streets from one end of the city to the other. While the red brick colouring of the building adds to its visual impact, the Raleigh is best known for its innovative architectural style.

The 1900 construction of the Raleigh block illustrated why apartment blocks were so popular in Winnipeg, both as an investment and as a place of residence. Even though the economy showed signs of collapse, this well—designed, modestly finished block in a central location attracted both the necessary capital for its construction and the necessary tenants to make it viable. - Historical Buildings Committee

 
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