Historical Tours in Manitoba: An Historical Walking Tour of Wolseley (Winnipeg)
The area known as Wolseley has distinct geographical boundaries. The busy one-way streets of Maryland and Sherbrook set it off from the inner city on the east, Portage Avenue to the north, the river on the south and Omand’s Creek on the west. The land was originally laid out in narrow river lots running four miles north from the Assiniboine River, lots numbered 44 to 71 in the Parish of St. James. The occupants, with homes fronting on the river, farmed the land.
The first boundary of the City of Winnipeg had been at Maryland Street. After the coming of the Canadian Pacific Railway, it was extended west to St. James Street in 1882. The built up area of the city grew with the waves of immigration at the end of the century and the need for all kinds of services caused a demand for housing for the clerks, artisans and salespeople. The expansion of the street railway system beyond Sherbrook in the first decade of the century made it easy for people living in the west end to get to the business and wholesale districts where they worked.
When the land was subdivided, one of the arterial streets running from east to west was given the name of Colonel Wolseley, a British Army officer who had led the expedition of British regulars and Canadian militia who came to the Red River in 1870 to suppress the rebellion which created the Province of Manitoba.
The new homes in Wolseley were single family dwellings purchased by the Anglo-Saxon, middle class. They were built in the predominant domestic style of the time with elements of the Queen Anne style which had been popular with the elite of an earlier decade. This style allows for considerable variation in detail. Considerable enjoyment can be found in the architectural features which were chosen to ornament the houses. Throughout the area examples can be discsovered which will delight the keen observer.
With the population expanding, libraries, churches, schools and hospitals were built.
The early part of this tour includes more detailed information about the few blocks south of Westminister Church. These are the streets to be covered in a guided walking tour. Generally, the families living on these more easterly streets would be typical of those living throughout the neighbourhood in the first two decades of its development.
Westminster United Church
The original Presbyterian congregation moved from Notre Dame Avenue to this location. On 29 April 1911, the Governor General, Earl Grey laid the corner stone and the building was completed by June 1912. It is built of Tyndall stone in the Gothic style. Above the main entrance on Maryland Street is a large rose window from the Luxfer Prism Company of Toronto. All the windows use the symbol of Christ the true Vine.
Family Fare Store
Built in 1929 as the Tivoli Theatre, it was sold to Safeway in 1959, and has continued to serve as a grocery store. In the late 1930s, when Westminster congregation reached 1800 members, the theatre would provide overflow seating.
In 1910, the homes on this street were occupied mostly by white collar workers, including two buyers for Eaton’s, an Eaton’s clerk, a Bank of Montreal clerk, and a book keeper for Marshall Wells Company. Also there is a teacher, a carpenter and the Eaton’s stable manager. Only one proprietor of a business is listed. Architecturally, it is a good example of streets in the area since it has seen only minor changes. The stability of the residents on the street is demonstrated in the small number of changes of owners in the early years. In 1929, over half of the houses were owned by the same families as in 1915.
At one time called Buell Avenue, the street was fully built up near the church by 1915. Here again, are one or two houses occupied by employees of Eaton’s, as well as some independent businessmen. Several university professors also chose to live in the area, and during the 1920s, one or two lived in the block west of Maryland.
This house was owned by the Smith family for over 25 years. The first member of the family to come to the west from the Gaspe was Benjamin B. Smith who went into the insurance business and then into real estate. He was very shortly joined by his brother, Wilson, a former sea captain, who purchased this house before 1915. Eventually, the parents and seven of the nine children came west. The parents moved into this home and remained here until the death of the father John Luther Smith in the early forties. The family property management business survived the depression and continues to the present day.
For many years this was the home of Robert T. Hodgson, principal of Kelvin High School from 1914 to 1932.
Note the scroll design cut-work on the barge boards and above the corner window. There are fine cut glass windows and a lovely piece of bevelled glass in the door.
128 Walnut Street
In 1910, Isaac Cowie lived in this house. He is listed in the directory as “journalist” probably because he wrote articles on Western Canadian pioneers for the Free Press. Also at this time he was probably working on his history of the Hudson’s Bay Company called The Company of Adventurers. Mr. Cowie’s own career was with the company, coming to Fort Ellice as a clerk in 1867, and retiring as Chief Trader from Ile a la Crosse in 1890. For ten years, 1890 to 1900, he was secretary to the Board of Trade in Edmonton. In his retirement in Winnipeg, he was president of the Old Timers Association. He died in 1917.
114 Walnut Street
Note the original treatment of the dormer window on the third floor, the pair of windows have been V’d to provide more light.
110 Walnut Street
John S. McDiarmid lived here from 1910 to about 1920. At that time he was working for Winnipeg Paint and Glass Company. He later went into the lumber business with his brother and subsequently was elected to the Manitoba Legislature. He became Minister of Natural Resources. In 1930, he built himself a home in Crescentwood. His career was capped by his appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba.
Mr. Fred Pugh, a buyer for the T. Eaton Company was associated with this house for over 15 years. He was one of a group of employees who came from Toronto when Eaton’s store opened in 1905. Five bachelors bought the house jointly and furnished it with mission oak which was very popular at that time. Upon deciding that none was superior enough to be head of the family, they purchased a square dining table and five arm chairs. They had a billiard room on the third floor. Mr. Pugh was the first to marry, so he bought out the others. His bride returned with him in 1910 to the fully furnished house where there was not even room to unpack her wedding gown. As the community grew and other families occupied the surrounding houses a very congenial atmosphere prevailed at this end of the street. The extra lot between 45 and 49 was purchased by the two neighbours and divided so that it would never be built on. The children often used the grounds for tennis games.
During this same time John B. Kilgour lived here with his family, a son and two daughters. Mr. Kilgour was Vice President of Kilgour-Rimer, a shoe store at 541 Main Street at James Avenue. The house with a pointed gambrel roof, decorative brackets and return eaves, is a good example of an early Dutch/Flemish version of the Queen Anne style.
This house was owned by Wallace Murphy who was head of Barber and Ellis, the paper company. The Murphys moved to 21 Middlegate in the early 1920s at exactly the same time as the Pugh family moved to 33 Middlegate.
The first occupant of this house was James B. Brown, a Scot, who first stayed with an uncle in Newfoundland and then came to Winnipeg. Mr. Brown owned a printing and bookbinding shop on Garry Street. The printing plant was on Home Street near Notre Dame. The family were members of Broadway Baptist Church and the children attended Kelvin Technical High School. Like many Winnipeggers, Mr. Brown built a cottage on Lake Winnipeg. Those resorts were well serviced by the Canadian Pacific Railway and many families were able to avoid the hot summers in the city. The appearance of the house has been changed by the removal of the verandah and other renovations.
In 1910 this house was occupied by John Armstrong who was surveying the route of the Hudson’s Bay Railway line from The Pas to Port Nelson or Churchill. He was the author of a report which recommended Port Nelson as the terminal, and construction on the Railway and the port began shortly thereafter. Note the fine cut glass windows.
Although this building is a reconstruction, the facade is faithful to the original home. The parlour, dining room and study on the main floor have been reproduced and will be restored as a memorial to J. S. Woodsworth, one of the founders of the C.C.F. Woodsworth established the All People’s Mission in the North End of Winnipeg to help the new immigrants to adjust to life here in Canada. During the 1919 General Strike, he edited the strike bulletin and was arrested for seditious libel. In 1921, Woodsworth became the first socialist member of Parliament. He was re-elected in 1925 for Winnipeg North Centre and represented this constituency until his death in 1942. The original house was in the possession of the Woodsworth family from 1908 to 1941. It was destroyed by fire in 1984.
Misericordia Hospital, 99 Cornish
The Sisters of the Misericorde in Montreal decided to open a mission for unwed mothers in Winnipeg around 1898. They began with a small home for young women on Broadway but their premises soon became crowded. In 1899 the group signed a contract for the construction of a new Misericordia Home on this site, however it was quickly outgrown. In 1902, Msgr. N. J. Richot donated a parcel of land in St. Norbert to the Sisters, which they subsequently sold to the Oblate Fathers. In the meantime, the Sisters had applied for incorporation as a general hospital rather than a maternity institution, and this was granted in 1917. Using the original 1900 building, they added in 1907, 1915, 1927, 1950 and 1957. A Nursing School was formed in 1919 and a new nurses residence was built in 1962. New emergency and Intensive Care facilities were completed in 1971. There is a large chapel in the oldest part of the hospital which can be entered from the second floor. Today, the Sisters continue to operate a service for unwed mothers at Villa Rosa on Wolseley Avenue.
The first steel frame bridge to span the Assiniboine River at this point was erected in 1894. With the increased traffic due to rapid suburban development early in the 20th century, the bridge became unsafe for prolonged use. It was replaced in 1921 with the first reinforced concrete structure built in Winnipeg. It was designed to accommodate a double track street railway and automobiles. A corner-post of the second bridge sits in the small park at the southwest end of the 1970 twin span.
Mulvey School, 750 Wolseley
Many people will remember this building as Gordon Bell. It was built as a Junior High School in 1925. In 1931, eight grade ten classes were introduced and the next year, the school became a Senior High School. In 1956, a dramatic change was made. A new large school was constructed adjacent to Mulvey School at Broadway and Maryland which would accommodate junior and senior high students. It was decided to keep the Gordon Bell name for the upper grade levels, so this school building which became an elementary school took over the name Mulvey. Before the school was built, there was a large mansion on the property which was called Maryland by Hugh Sutherland. In 1879, this estate would have been out in the country on property purchased by Sutherland from James Mulligan. Mr. Mulligan had built a mansion for himself at Portage Avenue. Interesting that they both became school sites.
The Allison, 745 Wolseley (1912)
There are similar prosperous looking solid apartment blocks in the area. In the early years, its tenants represented a wide range of occupations, from stenographers, clerks and life insurance agents, to department managers and an owner of a construction company.
Villa Rosa is closely tied to the history of the Misericordia Hospital. The original mission of the Sisters was the care of unwed mothers. The hospital was first built for that purpose. From 1901 to 1946, this particular service was located in St. Norbert but it was returned to this area, using the hospital itself and then converted houses at 27, 29 and 31 Sherbrook Street. With the support of the Knights of Columbus and the Province of Manitoba, the Sisters were able to provide this new facility which was designed by Libling Michener Architects in 1965 and is now supported by the United Way campaign.
This address is listed in 1920 as the site of the Assiniboine Lawn Bowling Club which continued to operate into the 1960s. Lawn bowling was an important pastime for the adults in the district. The property of another club still remains further down Wolseley at 1278.
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, designed by Gaboury, Lussier, Sigurdson, Venables Architects, seats 450. The design is described as Expressionistic Modernist, spiral in plan with a variety of window shapes including a large window in the highest point of the sanctuary. This 1970 building replaces an older one which was purchased from St. Matthew’s Anglican parish in 1930.
This was the home of Judge Walter Lindal until his death in 1976. Judge Lindal was born in Iceland, grew up in Calder, Saskatchewan and studied law at the University of Manitoba after serving in the First World War. He was a judge in the Northern District until his retirement in 1962. He was a founding member of the Canadian Press Club, an organization of editors and publishers of ethnic newspapers.
808 and 810 Wolseley
Now modern apartments, this site formerly held two large homes. An interesting occupant of 808 was Martha Jane Hample, a widow and business woman. She lived in Winnipeg most of her life and was somewhat of a curiosity to her staid and proper upper-crust peers. She put her fortune into the construction of a business block on Portage Avenue, between Smith and Donald, designed by a very prominent architect, John D. Atchison. In 1912, Mrs. Hample hosted a meeting of women who were actively involved in obtaining votes for women. The group included Frances Beynon and Lillian Beynon Thomas. A plaque commemorating Lillian stands near Laura Secord School. Mrs. Hample served as the first Manitoba woman appointed to a school board from 1916 to 1920. She took a leading role in the establishment of Knowles School for Boys. The original house at 810 was built in 1911 as expansion of the district was just beginning. George and Beatrice Baldry took advantage of the situation and erected a house and an apartment block on their river property. Mr. Baldry was president of Baldry Engineering and Construction, a prominent Winnipeg firm. The house was demolished in 1979. The apartment building cost $70,000 and contains 16 suites.
The Wolseley area was on the verge of development when this building was erected in 1909. Its original owner was James A. Coulter, one of the co-founders of Manitoba Bridge and Iron. It was designed by a business colleague of Coulter’s, an engineer by the name of H. P. Tanner and constructed for $7,000. In 1912 it was sold to Edward Parnell, a partner in Speirs-Parnell Baking Company, a large firm with 500 employees in Winnipeg and a second store in London, Ont. Mr. Parnell was also chairman of the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association in 1918 and in 1920, president of the Winnipeg Board of Trade. The same year, he was elected Mayor of Winnipeg. He took office again in 1921 by acclamation. He was actively interested in horse racing and was a member of the Winnipeg Driving Club. As mayor, he opened the first officially organized three day meet at River Park in June 1921. In June 1922, he died in office. The next owner, Hon. William H. Sharpe came to Winnipeg from Manitou, Manitoba. Mr. Sharpe had been Mayor of Manitou and Member of Parliament from 1909 to 1915. He resigned his seat to run for the Manitoba Legislature but was defeated. The following year he was appointed to the senate. His family stayed in the house until 1930. During the 1960s, the house was owned by Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. Of the four imposing houses on this section of Wolseley, this one has been the least altered.
Also built in 1909 by the contractor Smith Toye, this house was owned by Hugh Buxton Lyall, senior vice-president of Manitoba Bridge and Iron. The architect, Alfred Gent, was an estimator for that company. Lyall was a very prominent businessman in Winnipeg, chairman of the western caucus of the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, a member of the Board of Trade and the Manitoba Council of Industry. In 1930, he was appointed a member of the Canadian Committee of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was also president and general manager of the Manitoba Rolling Mills. During the 1940s and 1950s the rectors of Holy Trinity Anglican Church resided here. Following that, the house was divided into apartments.
Both this house and the one next were designed by architect Paul Clemens, a prolific designer. Born in Iceland, Clemens came to Winnipeg from Chicago in 1903 and worked here for twenty years. He used mostly builders and craftsmen who would work together in Icelandic. Clemens was one of the bidders for the Legislative Building contract in 1912. This Wolseley house has been altered from its former grand style but interesting elements remain, primarily the oval window with four keystones over the front entrance. The house was commissioned by Thomas Wilson, the president of Colonial Assurance Company. From 1934 to 1955 it was occupied by Morley Story, proprietor of a men’s clothing store. When he died in 1976, he was the oldest past Commodore of the Winnipeg Canoe Club. (1913)
This house was erected in 1913 for John Moyse. He owned a combination stable and livery on William Avenue near Market Square. In 1928, the owner was George D. Cameron, a grain broker, vice-president of Security Elevator Company. Many Winnipeg fortunes were built on the grain trade and the grain barons often occupied substantial homes along the river banks. The house was split into suites in the 1950s. Alterations have reduced the original grand and imposing effect of the facade but the west side and rear porch with its Corinthian columns show the scale of the design.
This street was representative of the district from its first development about 1910 to the mid-forties. Children who grew up on these streets remember the happy times of family life and play in the few vacant lots that remained during the 1930s. One of these lots on Wolseley between Arlington and Evanson was flooded for a skating rink during the winter. Many old timers will remember the warming shack with the smell of the wood stove and damp woollen mittens.
The Howe family who lived in this house in the 1930s were related to Joseph Howe who fought for representative government in Nova Scotia. Professor Joseph E. Howe, a graduate of Acadia College and Yale taught history at the University of Manitoba. He enjoyed sports and trained his four daughters and their friends in basketball and hockey. Several of the girls went on to play on University of Manitoba teams.
A prominent lawyer, John T. Haig and his family lived in this house. Their son James Campbell Haig became a senator. His sister Kennethe McMahon Haig was a writer and editor for the Winnipeg Free Press and a member of the Canadian Women’s Press Club. Mrs. Haig’s sister was married to James Dickie who lived up the street at 103 Chestnut.
J. S. Woodsworth lived in this house in 1929.
A University of Manitoba professor lived in this house from the mid-1910s to the 1930s. Robert H. McClung, affectionately known as “Chippy” because of his short stature, taught physics.
Before the first World War, this was the home of Nellie McClung, the famous Canadian feminist and writer. Born in Ontario in 1873, she came to Manitoba with her family, attended Normal School in Winnipeg, and taught school in rural Manitoba. She married Robert Wesley McClung and moved to Winnipeg in 1911. Nellie helped to found the Political Equality League with her colleagues the Beynon sisters, Cora Hind and others. The group organized a notorious evening at the Walker Theatre where the women took the parts of the politicians who refused the vote to the other sex. Nellie parodied Premier Roblin and won the audience and the electorate. Manitoba women achieved the vote in 1916. The family moved to Edmonton shortly after, where she was elected to the provincial legislature from 1921 to 1926. She served as a delegate to the League of Nations and was the first woman on the Board of Governors of the CBC. The exterior of the home, built in 1911, has been altered, but the interior has been restored to the McClung era.
For several years in the late teens and early twenties George F. Chipman lived here. Chipman was renowned as the editor of the Grain Growers Guide. He was a Nova Scotian who began his working career as a school teacher, went into newspaper work and began to write about conditions on the farm. His sympathy for farmers was evident in his editorials and speeches. In 1922 he was a candidate for the Progressives and his statement of policy served as the party platform. He was defeated and resigned from politics to concentrate on his fruit farm in Charleswood, developing new strains of apples and plums. In 1936, at the age of 54, he accidentally shot himself.
This house, built in 1910, shows the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright in the roof form. Most of the other elements reflect the popularity of classical revival elements.
In the early years, this house was occupied by Rev. Edmund G. Perry, a professor at Manitoba College.
Built in 1909, this house has many classical elements, including ornamental brackets, a porch with dual doric colonettes and an elegant balustrade. The roof line and porch base are splayed. The original family lived here for over 20 years. George H. Young saw an opportunity to provide a custom broker service and built a business which continues to operate in Manitoba today. Mr. Young moved to St. James, where he planted award-winning gardens every year. His son then rented this house from the father and lived on Chestnut Street until 1933.
Here, a home built in 1985 is an example of one of the most recent architectural trends, Post Modernism. Its classical features conform to the scale of the older houses on the street which were constructed about 1910. Here we leave the detailed street tour and discuss several other highlights in the district working our way west from Maryland Street to Raglan Road.
Gordon Bell School, Broadway and Maryland
The three previous schools on this site all were named Mulvey. The first building was constructed in 1884 and named for Major Stuart Mulvey, a member of the School Board. Made up of only two rooms, it lacked proper waterworks and a furnace. In the winter it was heated by two large box stoves each holding a four foot stick of wood. It stood on the property until 1907. The second school built in 1888 was larger, having eight classrooms and an assembly hall in the attic where the provincial government displayed the Manitoba exhibit to the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire on 9 April 1895. The third Mulvey school was begun on the foundations of the burnt building. Nine rooms were added in 1908 to accommodate grades one to eight. During a fire drill, the boys in classes on the third floor were sent sliding down the spiral fire escapes to the ground below. In 1958, the school board decided to construct a large modern junior and senior high school. The name Mulvey was continued for the elementary school in the old Gordon Bell building. By 1971, after a number of additions and modifications, Gordon Bell has become one of the biggest schools in the division with over 1,000 students.
The street names in this area were altered when Broadway was extended to curve up to Portage Avenue. Picardy Place was formerly St. James Place and Honeyman was Broadway Place.
Broadway-First Baptist Church, 790 Honeyman Avenue
In 1905 three lots were purchased near Mulvey School for a new Baptist Church. The first building in the English Gothic style had permanent side walls only. The end walls were designed to be moved out. With the expansion of the surrounding residential district, the enlargement was begun in 1914. When First World Ware began, costs escalated and a great debt was placed on the congregation which was not retired until 1945. In 1939, First Baptist Church was united with the Broadway congregation. First Baptist church building was sold to a pentecostal congregation and became Calvary Temple. The chapel of the Christian Education building (1959) has an exceptionally fine window by Gerald Tooke of Toronto commemorating the baptist missions in the west. (see Hamilton et al., Manitoba Stained Glass, University of Winnipeg Press, 1970)
816 and 820 Honeyman
The houses along this side of the street are excellent examples of the Queen Anne style. There is fine craftsmanship on this house at 816. Notice the scaling pattern on the gable end dormer. (1905)
This house has a classical look with the columns of the front portico, symmetrical design and the pedimental style of the dormer window. (1913)
This house was designed in the bungalo style which began on the North American West coast. The term bungalow originated in India where the British administrators built light buildings with verandas. The traditional bungalo features include a low pitched roof, large windows and a prominent front porch. The porch has extended, tapered beams acting as brackets for the roof. The porch piers are also tapered.
First Presbyterian Church, Canora and Picardy Place
After the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches united in 1925, the Presbyterians built this church. Like Broadway Baptist and Westminister, it follows the Gothic style. All the stained glass is by the firm of Robert McCausland of Toronto.
Vimy Ridge Memorial Park, Portage and Canora
Formerly called St. James Park, this block of land was renamed after the placement of the Vimy Ridge monument near the corner of Portage and Canora. The monument, a classic rectangular stone fixed with bronze plaques and topped with a cross, was originally erected in the summer of 1917 by the 44th Battalion on the summit of Vimy Ridge where it remained until 1924. It commemorates a First World War battle in which Canadian troops captured a fortified ridge which had eluded the allies during two years of attack. It was shipped to Winnipeg in 1926 when a towering Canadian memorial was placed on the French battlefield. The plaques list the names of the 328 men who lost their lives in military service. The base contains a book giving the story of the event and the names of all the soldiers. The park formerly called St. James Park was used for meetings and rallies during the 1919 General Strike.
Corner of Ethelbert Street and Preston Avenue
An original Vulcan Iron Works fire hydrant dated 1895 indicates the year in which the water lines were laid down.
The Rothsay, 828 Preston
This substantial apartment block has been well maintained. The main doorway was done in Renaissance Revival style seen in the large scrolls and the bull’s eye window. It was built in 1912.
This impressive Georgian-style house belonged to Dr. Harry M. Speechly and his wife Mary. Mary Speechly was a well-known Winnipeg personality who came to Canada from Britain. She was born in 1873 and attended a boys’ school as the only girl student. She then went to Liverpool University, and studied classics at Cambridge. Her accomplishments include: the founding of the Women’s Institute of Manitoba, leadership in the birth control movement, first woman appointed to the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (1947). In 1964, the new women’s residence on campus was named in her honour. She met her husband when he was the medical officer of her father’s school. He served in the First World War and during the second war was assistant medical officer at King Edward Hospital. He also was appointed Provincial coroner in 1929. Dr. Speechly died at the age of 84 in 1959, while Mary survived until 1968 when she was 95. Inside this house, built in 1909, the wide halls have wainscoting embossed in a poppy pattern, and the oak moulding over the doors is carved in egg and dart motif. The large bright dining room on the north west corner has a bay window. On the second floor there are three large family bedrooms and separate a servants’ quarters, two bedrooms and a bath, with a stairway directly to the kitchen. The building is now owned by the Grain of Wheat Church Community for whom it is a Christian house of prayer. Members live in community with each other in families in the same neighbourhood.
159 Chestnut Street
In 1915 this was the home of Albert R. Hignell, a printer who came to Winnipeg from Hamilton, Ontario in 1908. He bought an existing printing business at 736 Sherbrook Street. After working out of several locations the company moved into the Nokomis Building at Cumberland and Hargrave and remained there until 1940. The family remained in the Wolseley area until 1950, living on Evanson Street and then at 169 Chestnut for twenty years, finally moving into River Heights. The printing plant has been on Burnell Street since 1940, and the third and fourth generation of the family are involved in its operation.
St. Margaret’s Anglican Church
The design of this church follows the Hall type, which is used for congregational gatherings. The pointed arch openings and carved tracery indicates the Gothic style. This Edwardian version emphasizes well-crafted stone work, and sharply angled gables. The building was erected in 1912 with the facade built in 1933. The cancel window depicts the Wise Men bearing gifts and was done by Leo Mol of Winnipeg in 1961.
This was the home of Doctor and Mrs. Fredrick E. Warriner who purchased it in 1934. Dr. Warriner came from Ontario in 1907 following his graduation from University of Toronto dental school. He was a member of the Winnipeg School Board from 1928 to 1937, serving as chairman in 1928. He also served as Mayor of Winnipeg Beach in 1937. On his death in 1966, his son took over the house and lived here until 1978. (1924)
37 Arlington Street
Lillian Beynon Thomas occupied this house (built 1909) during one of her periodic stays in Winnipeg when she was not teaching in rural Manitoba. Her career was spent as a journalist and advocate for suffrage and social welfare reform. Born in Ontario, she came west with her family to Hartney, Manitoba. After her father died, she attended Normal School in 1896 and taught in many communities in Manitoba including Morden. In 1907, she was employed by the Manitoba Free Press and under the name of Lillian Laurie, she wrote a column titled “Home Loving Hearts”. In these columns she often discussed problems affecting isolated farm women in the West. In 1912, she was president of the Political Equality League, the group which continued its public strategy until 1916, when women achieved the vote in Manitoba. She continued a distinguished writing career and died in 1961 at the age of 86.
72 Arlington Street
This corner house at Wolseley Street (1909) was once the home of William Tier, Dean of Arts and Science at the University of Manitoba from 1921 to 1939. He was born in Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto. His first position in Winnipeg was with Manitoba College, and in 1914 he joined the mathematics department of the University of Manitoba until his appointment as dean. The university has named its Arts building in his honour. Dean Tier was active in the Winnipeg sports community, being an enthusiastic curler and President of the Granite Club in 1910-1911. He was also a member of the old Winnipeg Golf Club and the Southwood Club. He died in 1939.
Preston and Arlington
This block on Preston between Arlington and Evanson was formerly the site of the Salvation Army’s Grace Hospital from 1904 to 1970. Because the Salvation Army could not take pregnant girls and unwed mothers into their small quarters at 478 Ross Avenue, a large brick house was obtained at 486 Young Street which became the Salvation Army Rescue Home in 1894. This was the beginning of the Grace Hospital. In 1904, the Army sought the incorporation of their own independently operated hospital. A site was acquired and the first building was opened on 15 May 1906. A school of nursing was created in 1906 and additions were made to the original building. The last of these, from the mid-1950s remains. The nurses residence was built in 1942 on the southwest corner of Preston and Evanson. After the hospital was moved to St. James in 1967, the old building was partially demolished in 1974.
81 - 83 Lenore
An interesting renovation has occurred in the link joining these two spacious homes (1911) enabling them to be divided into apartments.
Laura Secord School, 960 Wolseley
James Bertam Mitchell was the architect responsible for Laura Secord School and many other Winnipeg schools in the early part of this century. It was built at a cost of $208,000 and constructed by Thomas Kelly Company. Laura Secord School exhibits the Luxton School design popular between 1907 and 1915. This style of school consisted of stretched out two storey buildings set upon high basements, with pitch roofs and heavy stone or brick ornamentation. This school has Renaissance features in the arched entrance way approached by the elaborate stair runs. Some examples of early Luxton schools are Cecil Rhodes (1908), King Edward (1908) and Aberdeen No. 2 (1910). The original bell tower was removed. The intricate detailing in the stairwells, stained glass windows and lettering of the school’s name are symbols of the optimism of the prewar period. In 1940, enrolment reached its peak of 1,013 students, with morning and afternoon kindergarten classes added thereafter. But during the 1960s and 1970s there was a shift in the student population as rents were lowered and houses were subdivided. Recently, however, the neighbourhood has been revitalized with an infusion of new ethnicities. French immersion classes, a school band and computers demonstrate the school’s ability to change with the times. Enrolment is near 400 pupils from nursery school to grade six.
Gas storage tank, Palmerston at Lipton
Brooding over the area until 1964 was a great, grey cylindrical storage tank holding gas which was manufactured from coal by the Winnipeg Electric Company. The storage tank allowed a constant supply in reserve. Most homes in the area were serviced and used gas for cooking and heating water.
The tiny house that stands here today is part of an original farm house that Thomas Foulds built in 1872. His farm was a river lot in the Parish of St. James which extended four miles north. There had been a log house on the property before that. The name Samuel Foulds appears in the list of petitioners to the Archbishop of Rupertsland asking for the consecration of the Parish Church of St. James in 1855. Graves of members of the Foulds family can be found in St. James Cemetery. When the family grew, they built the larger house at 1002. Most of the houses to the west were built after 1920.
87 Ruby Street
At one time owned by Lawrence L. Manson, president and manager of Tyndall Quarry Company, this house was built in 1912. The truncated tower effect of the double-storey bay windows, the spacious porch and the elaborate step stone work demonstrate the Queen Anne Revival style.
The Virginian, 980-984 Wolseley
This apartment building, constructed in 1914, has considerable architectural interest. According to an architectural historian, it has beautiful proportions and is probably one of the most original and elegant apartment blocks in Winnipeg. The flared cornice is reminiscent of pylons in an Egyptian temple. The isolation of the upper storey and the emphasis on horizontal line associates this building with the Chicago School of Architecture.
One of the persons who has lived in this modified Queen Anne style house (1909) was Gloria Queen-Hughes, a prominent Winnipeg sportswriter and local political figure. She was the daughter of former Winnipeg mayor and MLA John Queen. While studying medicine at the University of Manitoba, Gloria worked during the summers of 1927 and 1928 as the first woman sports reporter for the Manitoba Free Press. In 1929 she became a full-time general reporter for the Winnipeg Tribune. Two years later she married Wilfred Hughes, insisting that he take her surname if she was to take his. Her husband was later an editorial writer for the Tribune and rose to the position of associate editor before his death in 1970. In 1933, she was the youngest woman elected to public office as a school trustee and fought succesfuily to have Grade 12 taught in the schools without fees. Gloria went overseas during the Second World Ware, while her husband spent three years as a Prisoner of War in Hong Kong. On her return, she became active in community organizations and ran against Steve Juba in the contest for mayor in 1966. She was the first woman to campaign for this office. Gloria died in 1978 at the age of 67.
247 Ruby (1911)
Mrs. Jessie MacLennan who owned this house through the 1930s was particularly active in the introduction of vocational training in Winnipeg’s educational system as well as being described as an “ardent feminist”. She was born in Stornoway in the Hebrides in 1878. Among her many accomplishments were: first chairwoman of the Winnipeg School Board in 1937, President of the League of Nations Society, member of the executive and the national executive of the St. John’s Ambulance Association, school board member for 17 years and chairperson of the city’s committee on adult education. Mrs. MacLennan is also renowned for being instrumental in achieving pensions for the blind whom she represented before the House of Commons in 1935. She ran for alderman and for a provincial seat as an independent. She died at the age of 64 in 1942.
Firehall No. 14, 161 Lipton
In the neighbourhood stories of Wolseley, some older residents can remember going to the firehall after school to watch the firemen feed the horses. Many city fire halls had horse-drawn rigs into the 1930s. The building was a standard design with Italianate features such as the stepped gable, the oriel window and the double arched window of the tower. It is similar to several built in Winnipeg from 1911 to 1915 or 1916. The original arched doors have been altered for its present use as an ambulance depot.
This house (1913) was once owned by William George Smith who taught at Wesley College and was an ordained Methodist minister. Born in Newfoundland, and trained at the University of Toronto, he was professor of psychology and social sciences. He made a survey on Canadian immigration for the Dominion government and lectured on this subject across Canada. At various times he held the posts of principal of Norwood Collegiate and Director of Child Welfare in Manitoba. The fine siding boards would seem to indicate that they are original to the house.
Happyland Park, Portage Avenue between Aubrey and Dominion
In 1906, this large parcel of land extending from Portage Avenue to the Assiniboine between Aubrey and Dominion was known as Happyland Park. It was privately owned and operated by the American Park Company. It contained many entertainment attractions as well as sports facilities, including picnic grounds, a figure eight roller coaster, an 80 foot high circular swing, a vaudeville auditorium, restaurant, shooting gallery, open-air ice cream parlour, crazy house, ballroom, an Old Mill with boats for lovers, a miniature steam railway with a station and tiny coaches seating four travelling on a track 12 inches wide, Japanese tea gardens, a baseball park for the former Winnipeg Maroons Club and a bandstand. The entrance to the park was Doric in architectural style extending 600 feet along Portage Avenue. Opening day attendance figures were as high as 44,000 on 24-25 May 1906. Due to financial troubles, the park was forced to close in 1914. The streets between Aubrey and Dominion were not fully developed until after the First World War. The block of smaller houses on Sherburn Street between Palmerston and Wolseley have remained virtually unchanged and give a fine picture of the development of the street.
Searching for this house number takes us to a pleasant riverbank park at the foot of the street. In the very first house is the studio of wildlife artist Clarence Tillenius.
This was the home of Professor Dougald McDougall, Head of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba from 1939 until his death in 1959. He had begun as a demonstrator in the department in 1922. Professor McDougall contributed greatly to the profession of pharmacy in the province by maintaining a series of extension courses whereby the practicing druggists could keep abreast of developments in their field.
This English cottage style house combines its steeply pitched gables and arched entry in a picturesque way. The lack of symmetry indicates the beginning of the modern style. It was owned by a grain broker, William T. Low, in its first years from 1928 to 1929.
The Wolseley Elm
This famous tree stood in the middle of Wolseley at the foot of Basswood Place. It was planted in the 1860s on the river lot farm of Joseph and Mary Anne Good, when Mary Anne was a bride. The sapling had been rafted down the river from Baie St. Paul. In 1957, the city decided that it had to be removed to build a new road. Mrs. Borrowman of 1192 Wolseley, along with her neighbours, petitioned city council to stop this action and won their case. The road was built winding around the tree. A second onslaught by the City was successful and the tree was cut down in July 1960.
For a short time in the late 1920s, this large house overlooking the Assiniboine River was the home of Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy F. Borrowman. Mr. Borrowman was a civil engineer from Minnesota who came to Winnipeg in 1911 and worked with the Sutherland Construction Company until 1925. For the next five years he operated the firm of Borrowman and Jamieson Limited with his partner. In the 1930s, Mr. Borrowman served a term and a half as city councillor and joined the staff of the assessment department. He was appointed Assessment Commissioner in 1934. He was a Shriner and a past-president of both the Carleton Club and Kiwanis Club. The family attended Westminster United Church. Mrs. Borrowman was also a well-known personality in the neighbourhood, being an ardent supporter of the Wolseley elm in co-operation with other local residents.
Mary Anne Good (nee Kirton) built this house after her husband, Joseph, died in 1907. She and her husband had farmed this property, which originally had four chains of river frontage. Their log house stood on the river where Newman Street is now. In 1891, the property was taken over by their son, James Good, whose wife Maria Ann was a daughter of the Bourke family of St. James. They had a dairy and sold their butter to Chadwick’s Deer Lodge Hotel. When Joseph Good died, most of the land was sold and Mary Anne built a new house which is still standing today at 484 Newman.
Built in 1929, this pleasant Tudor style house has an interesting ogee arch entrance.
This substantial stone house was built by the owner of Gillis Quarries, Charles L. Gillis, in 1922. Charles and Joseph Gillis with their father purchased the quarry at Garson, Manitoba after the first World War. The family of two sons and four daughters grew up in the house. Charles died in 1954 and the home was sold a few years later. The house has a four-square appearance much like the Regency style with a low pitched roof. The garage was a later addition.
Greenwood Lawn Bowling Club, 1278 Wolseley
The formal opening of the Greenwood Lawn Bowling Club took place 9 June 1927 with approximately 100 members in all. The property, 1278 Wolseley, was purchased by the Greenwood Lawn Bowling Holding Club Limited about 1920 with most of the shareholders being lawn bowlers. Before this purchase, the club bowled on Greenwood Place, then on Wolseley, a few doors away from the present site. There was a ladies as well as a men’s membership in the club. Although the Ladies Club purchased shares and owned as many as ten in all, there were restraints put on numbers and eligibility. To become eligible, a lady must have a father, brother or husband already a member of the men’s club. Members owned shares and paid annual fees which in 1919 was four dollars a year. The ladies of the club earned money by hosting dinners for other groups and there was a round of social events such as card parties during the winter. Several charities benefitted from these funds, the Blind Institute and Milk for Britain being examples. By 1947 the mortgage was cleared. The Men’s Club records were in a safe in the Time building which was destroyed by fire in 1954. As time went on membership requirements were relaxed and anyone could be eligible to join. Increasing expenses and declining membership, however, made it no longer possible for the Club to continue. It closed in 1983 with a membership of thirty people. All contents were donated to other clubs and charities in the city.
This 1914 building has the standard Queen Anne Classical features: the broad porch, porch columns and a pedimental dormer. In Western Canada, the Queen Anne style is more angular and in this case the roof angle is sharper than traditional Eastern versions of the style.
Pioneer Lodge, 1338 Wolseley
The original owner of this house was Fredrick Salter who probably built the house around 1880. It faces west to view the creek mouth and the setting sun. Salter, a skilled gardener, purchased two lots east of the creek (nos. 46 & 47 ) and planted vegetable and flower plots and many trees. He had 26 greenhouses and a large water tank. North of Portage he grew hay and oats. His market garden supplied the Canadian Pacific Railway trains from Montreal to Vancouver. He owned both the inner and outer two miles bounded on the west by Omand’s Creek. In 1885, he sold part of his property to the railway for $104. Then, in 1893, Salter transferred and sold pieces of his land to several people including his son, Thomas F. Salter, and a part to the “Great Highway” (Portage Avenue). Due to ill health, Salter then moved to California where he died around 1910 at the age of 73. Up until 1910, before the land was subdivided, it was said that “great maples guarded a driveway down to the entrance on Portage Avenue”. About this time the house was enlarged and the verandas attached.
This parkland was named after John Omand who aquired the land on the Assiniboine River, which includes the creek mouth, ( early maps show it as Catfish Creek) in 1858 from two previous owners. He had come from the Orkneys with Bishop Anderson in 1849. For 8 years he worked for the Anglican Bishop as farm superintendent at Red River after which he sent for his wife. He built a log house on the river side of the Portage Trail and then a brick house in 1882. This last house was demolished in 1910 when part of the property we sold to James Hill for the Midland Railway.
475 Raglan Road
During the 1920s this was the home of John T. LePage, President of LePage Lumber Company. The house was built before 1920 in Dutch Colonial Revival style with a gambrel roof and shingled siding.
485 Raglan Road
This home built in 1920 had simple details and graceful proportions. The doric columns suggest a Neo-Classical style. The porte-cochere is a reminder of the horse and carriage era. In the 1920s the owner was Peter Julius who was in the restaurant business with his brother Thomas. They ran the Commodore Cafe at 297 Portage Avenue, across from Eaton’s. In 1930 this became the more familiar Moore’s Restaurant.
505 Raglan Road
The Rumford family occupied this house for over sixty years. Built in 1912, it was purchased by Luther J. Rumford before 1920. Mr. Rumford ran a laundry and dry cleaning business with a plant on Wellington Avenue at Home Street and what was probably a very profitable store at the corner of River and Osborne. The Rumfords were married in Sioux City, Iowa and came to Winnipeg in 1902. Mr Rumford was a member of Khartum Temple and had been president of the Winnipeg Rotary Club. Mrs. Daisy Rumford supported the Shriners Ladies Auxiliary. The double balconies with the columns and the small-paned windows give the house a Georgian appearance.
517 Raglan Road
This is the newest house on the street. It was built in 1936, in Tudor Revival style with a distinctive curved roof line, half-timbering and interesting brick detail along the chimney giving it a picturesque appearance. Mrs. Douglas, wife of the first owner, had never been to England but wanted an English cottage. When her husband retired from the Canadian Pacific Railway he decided to move to the west coast. Mrs. Douglas very reluctantly agreed to sell the house.
528 Raglan Road
During the early years there was only one house on the west side of the street. No. 528 was occupied by an accountant, Michael P. Allman.
538 Raglan Road
During the 1920s this house was constructed and the owner, Hugh Clancy, and his family remained in the house until the 1960s. The family was in the broom manufacturing business. The Standard Broom Company was located at 744 Wall Street.
Portage Avenue Mennonite Brethren Church, 1420 Portage
The growth of the Mennonite community in Winnipeg created a need for a meeting place in the southern part of the city. Various central locations were used by the group which continued to grow in numbers. In 1959, it was decided to build a new church and the building was completed in 1961. The church now owns the houses on the west side of the road, but the neighbours have prevented their demolition, wanting to maintain the residential character of the area.
Portage Avenue west of Raglan
Although they no longer exist, there were four homes facing Portage Avenue on the west side of Raglan Road. One of these homes was owned by Richard Deans Waugh, a former Mayor of Winnipeg. Born in Scotland, Waugh came to Winnipeg in 1883. He first worked in a law firm and then in real estate with his partner, Thomson Beattie. (Mr. Beattie was one of the victims of the Titanic disaster.) In 1904, Mr. Waugh became a member and then chairman of the Winnipeg Public Parks Board. In 1909 he was elected to the Board of Control and later he sat on the executive of the Greater Winnipeg Water District. He was elected as Mayor in 1912, and again during 1915 and 1916. As a sportsman, he was president of the Manitoba Curling Association, the Granite Curling Club, Honorary president of the Winnipeg Cricket Association and the Winnipeg Swimming Club. In 1892, he married Harriet Lillian Logan, daughter of Alexander Logan, four times Mayor and important pioneer of Winnipeg.
This tour was originally developed by the Manitoba Historical Society in 1988. At the time of its preparation, the Walking Tour Committee consisted of Lissa Dean, Elizabeth Fleming, Shelagh Linklater, Rosemary Malaher, Gail Perry, Doug Taylor, and Glen Weaver. Research for this tour was done by Valdene Buckley, Elizabeth Fleming, Jean Friesen, Sheila Grover, Henry Huber, Rosemary Malaher, Marth McCarthy, Doug Pritchard, and Glen Weaver. Writing was done by Valdene Buckley, Shelagh Linkater, and Rosemary Malaher. The committee thanks William P. Thompson for his assistance with this project.
Page revised: 11 July 2015Back to top of page