In Memoriam: Bill McKay

William Gordon McKay (96) peacefully passed away at Victoria General Hospital on December 17, 2013. Born in Regina on December 10th, 1917, he grew up in Portage la Prairie and graduated from Queen's University with a degree in Civil Engineering. Having had a life long interest in the history of the Prairie Provinces, Bill previously served as President of Heritage Winnipeg at a time when many buildings in the Market Square area and Exchange District were being threatened with demolition. He has played an important role in the preservation of Winnipeg's built heritage, and he will be missed. May he rest in peace.

Stovel Block (Kay Building)

Heritage Winnipeg would like to thank the ACI for allowing the use of their board room for our recent meeting. Heritage Winnipeg Directors were given a tour of their office space with an overview of what they do. For further information on this historically designated building, please click here

245 McDermot provides independent creative entrepreneurs and organizations with contemporary, affordable, shared workspace. Run by the Arts and Cultural Industries Association of Manitoba (ACI Manitoba), 245 McDermot focuses on individuals and businesses that value creativity and collaboration. Members join a multidisciplinary community with tenants in various fields, all in a professional and creative coworking space. Visit their website here

Young Canada Works Program

"Canadian Heritage is responsible for national policies and programs that promote Canadian content, foster cultural participation, active citizenship and participation in Canada's civic life, and strengthen connections among Canadians." A stream of Canadian Heritage is the Young Canada Works program, which is employed every summer by a variety of organizations.

Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations is a summer program that gives students the opportunity to learn about Canada's history and cultural heritage through the creation of jobs that allow them to assist heritage organizations and agencies. The program is for students ages 16 to 30, and work terms can last for up to 16 weeks.

The aim of the program for the student is to "acquire work experience related to their studies and allow them to explore career opportunities." It also allows i some instance for a "great geographic exchange experience" and the "ability to develop a network" in the field they are studying.

The aim of the program for the employer is to subsidize the wage of the youth employed, while allowing the incorporated, non-profit organization to "hire students with skills specifically related to the organizations needs".

Source: Heritage Canada Organizations Website: accessed October 2nd 2010.

For more information about the program, please visit the Heritage Canada and Young Canada Works websites.

If interested, please register online with YCW and then email your resume to before the end of March 2017.


James Avenue Pumping Station

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.

For more information regarding proposal plans for the James Avenue Pumping Station, please see this August 2013 Article published by the Winnipeg Free Press.  In addition please click on the links below for other more recent articles:

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

Heritage Winnipeg's Inaugural Heritage Ball was a Great Success!

One of Winnipeg's most prestigious landmarks and a national historic site, The Fort Garry has enjoyed an unparalleled renaissance, winning new admirers and accolades from patrons and guests as our historic hotel in Winnipeg celebrated its 100th year.

Heritage Winnipeg held our Inaugural Heritage Ball  on the evening of Friday, September 27th, 2013 to honour the centennial anniversary of the Fort Garry Hotel and to commemorate the significant role that the Fort Garry has played in the cultural and social life in Winnipeg over the last century.  Please check out our Flickr account on the homepage for photos of these events.

The Fort Garry was built in 1913, and the 2013 Heritage Ball was intended to re-create the hotel's 1913 inaugural event. The Gala had a railroad theme and featured

  • a spectacular dinner in the Crystal Ballroom

  • "Speak Easy" Dance and Dessert

  • a video of a historical interpretation of the arrival of Dignitaries in 1913 for the Grand Opening of the Fort Garry (To view the Shaw video on YouTube, please click here.)

  • a presentation of the history of the Fort Garry Hotel by Frank Albo, co-author of the Hermetic Code

  • Live music by the Danny Kramer Band

  • MC - Big Daddy Tazz

Heritage Winnipeg is a non-profit charitable organization that promotes the restoration, rehabilitation, and preservation of Winnipeg's built environment. The Gala was a fundraising event for Heritage Winnipeg, and we thank you for your support. Funds raised from this event will help us to continue our work on the conservation of our heritage and history. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of our generous sponsors, prize donors, and event patrons who helped to make our event a success!

Prize Donors

Hudson's Bay Company
University of Manitoba
The Keg on Garry
Winnipeg Trolley Company
The Fort Garry Hotel
WOW Hospitality Concepts
Storm Catering
The Fairmont Winnipeg
Rainbow Stage
Pantages Playhouse
PaddleWheel River Boats
Banville & Jones Wine Co.
Hy's Steakhouse
Manitoba Theatre Company
Manitoba Opera
Ivory Restaurant
Jordan Van Sewell
Leonard Kahane
Fleet Gallery
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Walt Schoenhausen
Joyce Bateman
University of Manitoba Press

Special Recognition

Prairie Dog Central Railway
VIA Rail Canada
Robert Sweeney
Floral Elements
Canadian National Railway Company
City of Winnipeg
Canadian Pacific Railway Limited
Manitoba Classic and Antique Auto Club (Allen Peters, Ken Rigaux, The Late Jim Hawes, and Bryne McKay)
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.
Winnipeg Police Museum
Cake Studio
Dr. Frank Albo
Winnipeg Railway Museum
Events by Emma
Transcona Museum
Pizza Hotline

Event Patrons

Jeannette and Greg Delorme
Elaine and Doug Lochhead
Dr. Jerry Gray
Lisa Gardewine
Nancy Klos
Lawrence Prout
Sandy Shindleman
Bridgman Collaborative Architecture
Stainless Concepts Inc.
Walt Schoenhausen


A Port in the Storm

Founded by two oncology nurses, Joanne Loughery and Patrcia Bejaminsin, and a patient volunteer, Greg Pilgrim in 2005, A Port in the Storm Inc. (APTIS) was established to "provide a safe, supportive and affordable home-like environment for rural and northern adult patients and their families who are in Winnipeg to receive medical treatment".

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"
All of the above are important because they contribute to the success of APTIS's short and long term operational plans. Until completion of the development of their new facility, APTIS will be working from their current location in Villa Aulneau. The ultimate goal is to run a new facility, which will house 40 rooms, at 210 Rue Mason (the former St. Boniface Normal School).

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.

Heritage Canada Presents 'Regeneration: Heritage Leads the Way'

Heritage Canada Foundation's 40th Anniversary Conference, entitled Regeneration: Heritage Leads the Way, will be held from October 31-November 2, 2013 at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, ON.

"We are a diverse community and a new vision for heritage is emerging that will contribute to a new age in Canada. HCF’s 40th Anniversary National Heritage Conference will explore how older communities, cultural landscapes, buildings and intangible heritage are finding new relevance at this watershed moment." [Taken from Heritage Canada's Website]

For more information, daily schedule breakdowns, or to register for this event, please click here

Fort Gibraltar

Formerly a North West Company trading post that was built in 1809, Fort Gibraltar is located at the forks of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. Over the summer, it serves as a tourist attraction and historical site, providing a look back into the lifestyle of those living in the early 1800s. Costumed interpreters act both as educators and as tour guides as they transport visitors back to the period of the voyageurs and traders.

Throughout the year, there are facilities available to rent for special events or functions. They also host the Festival du Voyageur winter festival in February

"A Brief Historical Summary (taken from the Fort Gibraltar Website)

1809 – The North West Company builds Fort Gibraltar

1816 – Fort Gibraltar is captured and destroyed by the Selkirk Colony

1817 – Fort Gibraltar is rebuilt by the North West Company

1821 – North West Company merges with Hudson’s Bay Company – Fort Gibraltar continues its operations under the Hudson’s Bay company standard

1822 – Fort Gibraltar’s name is changed to Fort Garry

1835 – Fort Garry is abandoned but its warehouses are still used

1852 – Fort Garry is destroyed by the Red River Flood

1978 – Fort Gibraltar is rebuilt by the Festival du Voyageur"

For more information, please visit their website here


Red River Heritage Fair

An annual event in Manitoba, the Red River Heritage Fair celebrated it's 20th year running in May 2013. The Red River Heritage Fair allows students (Grades 4-11) from various schools across Winnipeg to come together and share the stories they have learned about Manitoban and Canadian history and heritage through presentations about the projects and research they have done on special topics or events that interest them.

For more information, please visit the Red River Heritage Fair Website here

Armstrong's Point

Located about a mile away from the Forks, Armstrong’s Point is a small area of land by the Assiniboine River. It was developed in the 1880s and remains a private and isolated area that many Winnipegers are still unaware of to this day.  Armstrong’s Point has been formerly known as Pensioners’ Point, Hill’s Point, and Victoria Place. The land on which this suburban area was built was originally given to Captain Joseph Hill by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1848. He sold the property in 1881 to John McDonald and E. Rothwell who divided the land into lots thus converting it into a residential area.

As Winnipeg continued to grow and become a commercial centre, the higher class residents no longer desired to live in the central core of the city. They wanted to escape from the chaos, noise, pollution, disease, criminals, and immigrants that filled the City’s centre streets. Armstrong’s Point offered that exclusivity, safety, and peacefulness that the wealthy desired and has since been home to some of Winnipeg’s richest citizens. Many of the homeowners even named their houses. There are three gated entrances that act to further separate and secure the area from the rest of Winnipeg.

"An intact neighbourhood over a century old, Armstrong's Point is valued by residents and visitors alike. Although individual homes and institutions are acknowledged, it's the area itself - the cluster of large, well-maintained older homes - that is most appreciated. Many of these homes have been evaluated for historical significance (a total of 72 neighbourhood buildings are identified in Historical Buildings Conservation Inventory), but only a few homes and structures are on the Historical Buildings Conservation List. These include two residences (one of which is now used as a private club), a library, and the ornamental entry gates." [Taken from Armstrong's Point Planning Study Final Draft, also see Armstrong's Point Appendices for supplementary information]

To find out more about this historical Winnipeg neighborhood, there is a book entitled Armstrong’s Point, by Randy Rostecki, available for purchase from our office. If you would like to make a donation of $100 or greater in addition to your membership to Heritage Winnipeg, you will receive a complimentary copy. Contact our office if you are interested or have any questions.

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