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Manitoba Historical Society Announces Top-10 Endangered Structures for 2021

The Manitoba Historical Society tracks historically-significant buildings around our province that deserve to be preserved and better known. For Canada Historic Places Day on Saturday, 3 July 2021, we announce our list of the ten most endangered buildings and other structures, in order from oldest to newest.

We remain concerned about structures identified on our 2019 and 2020 lists, some of which have been demolished.


1883

Bathgate Block

Bathgate Block
242 Princess Street, Winnipeg

This three-storey brick building, designed by the pioneering architectural firm of Barber and Barber, was erected between 1882 and 1883 at the corner of Princess Street and Alexander Avenue for William Bathgate. Occupied through the years by wholesalers, manufacturers, and commission agents, the municipally-designated historic building has been vacant since around 2001.

More information can be found here.


1908

Canadian National Railway Station

Canadian National Railway Station
130 Fisher Avenue E, Portage la Prairie

Built by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, this railway station was later used by the Canadian National Railway and Via Rail. For a time, it was a bus depot used by Greyhound Bus Lines. Closed in October 2018, it is presently vacant.


1925

Concrete Beam Bridge No. 1197

Concrete Beam Bridge No. 1197
RM of Killarney-Turtle Mountain

This distinctive concrete bridge over the Long River near the village of Holmfield is threatened with demolition as large livestock farms in the area advocate for a modern bridge that is better suited to their needs.


1926

Hudson’s Bay Company Building

Hudson’s Bay Company Building
450 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

Formerly the flagship store of the Hudson's Bay Company in western Canada, the building had 15 acres of retail floor space. An attached parkade (under separate ownership) was the first such structure on the Canadian prairies. Closed in November 2020, the provincial government has offered $25 million toward creative reuse of the building but no plans have been announced.


1930

Telephone Exchange Building

Telephone Exchange Building
560 Seventh Avenue South, Virden

This small one-storey brick building was designed by architect Alexander D. Melville and erected for the Manitoba Telephone System. In 2008, it was in use for provincial government offices. Damaged in a 2012 fire, the building was put up for sale in 2015. It was vacant at the time of a 2018 site visit.


1941

CKX Radio Building

CKX Radio Building
220 Eighth Street, Brandon

This attractive Art Deco brick and stone building, designed by architect Gilbert C. Parfitt, provided studio space for the pioneering CKX radio station. Threatened with demolition several times, it was used by several social agencies and, mostly recently, by a local caterer. Financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led the owner to retire and put the building up for sale in 2020.


1950

Port Staff House / Television Station CHGH

Port Staff House / Television Station CHGH
Polar Bear Honor Street, Churchill

A three-storey, concrete block building on a hill near Cape Merry was built to accommodate staff of the nearby grain terminal. It was later used as by CHGH, the first community-owned radio and television station in Canada, and is now abandoned and boarded up. In 2017, its exterior was painted as part of a public art program.


1951

Manitoba Pool Grain Elevator

Manitoba Pool Grain Elevator
Homewood, RM of Dufferin

Built by Manitoba Pool Elevators, its initial capacity was expanded with two crib annexes to 175,000 bushels. Fully renovated in 1979, it was closed in 2001 and was sold into private ownership. Used for local grain storage for a few years, it was put up for sale and has been vacant for some time. Its protective metal cladding has sustained considerable damage.

UPDATE: This elevator was demolished on 8 August 2021.


1955

L9 Building / Institute of Arctic Ecophysiology Building

L9 Building / Institute of Arctic Ecophysiology Building
Amundsen Road, Churchill

This large, metal-clad building was used through the 1950s and early 1960s as a laundry for the nearby Fort Churchill military base. In the 1970s and early 1980s, it hosted a research facility that studied the biology of polar bears and other northern animals. Vacated in the early 1980s, the building was open to the elements at the time of a 2018 site site visit.


1962

Fallout Reporting Post KE4

Fallout Reporting Post KE4
Northwest Angle Provincial Forest

A chilling reminder of Cold War tensions, this small underground structure was intended to be occupied by people who would monitor radiation levels in the event of a nuclear bombing. It was built as part of a network of 2,000 such structures across Canada. This structure was locked at the time of a 2020 site visit but has since been broken into, motivating government officials to consider more destructive measures.


In Canada, there is no level of heritage designation that will legally protect a building from demolition. Municipalities are tasked with the difficult job of making decisions regarding the fate of these properties. For further information about the status of any structure on this list, please contact the pertinent municipality.

For further information on other historic sites around Manitoba, visit the Historic Sites of Manitoba page on the MHS website.

See also:

Manitoba Historical Society Announces Top-10 Endangered Structures for 2019

Manitoba Historical Society Announces Top-10 Endangered Structures for 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba

Page revised: 8 August 2021

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