Historical Tours in Manitoba: History and Walking Tour of Tuxedo

A Small History: 1902 - 1931

The Land

The land now occupied by the Town of Tuxedo was originally part of the Hudson’s Bay Company territory which was granted by the Company in June 1811 to Lord Selkirk for settling his people. It was known as “Assiniboia” and in 1857 the land was surveyed and divided into a series of narrow farm lots which extended for a distance of two miles north and south from the Assiniboine River. (See Map 1) In 1870 the Province of Manitoba was formed after which, in 1877, the lot depth was extended to four miles.

Map 1

The first municipal division under the Provincial Act in 1880 divided the Province into 31 rural municipalities. One of these was the Rural Municipality of Assiniboia, which contained the old parish administrative areas of Headingly, St. Charles, St. James and St. Boniface. [1] The parishes of St. Charles and St. Boniface extended south from the Assiniboine River. (See Map 2) The Agricultural College property was purchased in 1903 by the Province, and lay in the Parish of St. Charles next to the Parish of St. Boniface. Later it was judged to be too small to allow expansion, and was relocated to Fort Garry in 1911-1913, the land becoming the site of a military hospital in 1914 and in 1918, of Fort Osborne Barracks. [2] For a brief period, from 1914 to 1917, the grounds were used by the Manitoba School for the Deaf which found a permanent home on the proposed University site in 1921.

Map 2

The College property was not planned as part of the Town of Tuxedo. Similarly, 320 acres of farmland were purchased by the City of Winnipeg from the owners for Assiniboine Park and were also outside the plans for the development of Tuxedo. [3]

In 1918 the ownership of 13.5 acres of land along the river was transferred by the Town to the City to provide a “continuous permanent parkway” between the Park and the City. [4]

The Developers

It would be impossible to describe the origins of Old Tuxedo apart from the career of Frederick William Heubach. He had been born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1859, arriving in Winnipeg in 1879 as private secretary to C. J. Brydges who had joined the Hudson’s Bay Company as its Land Commissioner. [5] When Brydges died in 1889, Heubach stayed with the Company as Accountant until 1893 when he accepted an appointment as Manager of the Winnipeg Industrial Development Exhibition Association. Meanwhile, he married Jennie Taylor of Winnipeg in 1882 and their children were Claude Campbell and Dorothy Claire. Claude would marry Hazel Allan of Montreal, and Claire would marry Raymond Carey later to be directly involved in the development of Tuxedo. [6]

F. W. Heubach continued as Manager of the Industrial Exhibition, but in 1902 he joined forces with W. J. Christie, an established real estate broker under the style “Christie and Heubach.” This small firm employed David R. Finkelstein as clerk. [7] Then Heubach struck off on his own, becoming incorporated in 1905 under his own name. He had built his home at 197 Roslyn Road and had established his business office in the Union Bank Building where he dealt in “Real Estate Loans, Fire Insurance, Rentals and Investments.” [8]

In May of 1905, he incorporated the Tuxedo Park Company Limited with a subscribed capital of $800,000. Some idea of the extent of his associations may be gathered from the names and occupations of the major investors: E. C. Kenaston of Hopkins, Minnesota, president of the American-Abel Engine and Thresher Company, Minneapolis and Toronto; E. C. Warner of Minneapolis, Minn., president of the Midland Linseed Oil Company, G. F. Piper of Messrs. Piper and Co., Wholesale Grain Merchants of Minneapolis, Minn.; Walter D. Douglas, president of the American Cereal Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. These men appointed Heubach to be Managing Director of the firm. Kenaston was named President; Warner, Vice-President; with Piper and Douglas as Directors. [9]

In 1905-1906 the Tuxedo Park Company Ltd. acquired 3,000 acres of farmland from Mary Wright, Archibald F. Wright, and other owners for $540,000. Archibald F. Wright had been in Winnipeg since 1869 and had built his home at 694 Godfrey Avenue, now Academy Road. He established the first harness shop in Winnipeg, which became the Winnipeg Saddlery Company. He was on the first School Board and a member of the first City Council of 1874. His wife, Mary, was the first owner of the land and lived in the Academy Road home until 1939. She had owned the property bought by the Province for the Agricultural College. Their son, Robert, built his home at 1 Frank Street in 1907 and later was Superintendent of Works for the Town of Tuxedo for more than 43 years. Both the Wright houses are in use today. Their lots all fronted on the Assiniboine River and extended southward for four miles to Macdonald Road (McGillivray Boulevard). They were numbered from 60 to 63 in St. Boniface Parish, or west of Renfrew Street in River Heights, and adjoined Lots 1 to 39 of the Parish of St. Charles which bounded on the Parish of Headingly to the west. [10,11] The land title records reveal that between 1903 and 1905, the Tuxedo Park Company (i.e. F. W. Heubach) purchased the lots directly from the owners, thus assembling the 3,000 acres on which were first applied the plans for development. [12]

Heubach and the Tuxedo Park Company then contracted with Rickson A. Outhet, landscape architect of Montreal, to plan the development of “Tuxedo Park”. Outhet submitted a detailed plan of streets and building lots in 1905 which covered the St. Boniface and St. Charles lots as far west as Assiniboine Park (i.e. to Park Boulevard) excluding the land for the Agricultural College. This was the plan for Heubach’s original “Old Tuxedo” scheme. [13] It was never fully implemented because Crescentwood, among other areas much nearer to the City centre, attracted new home-builders who might have invested in Heubach’s Tuxedo properties. The American backers lost their investment. The circular street elements (e.g., Carpathia and Fulham) at the north end and the long streets, Renfrew, Lanark, Beaverbrook and Centennial to use their modern names, remain quite visible on the ground. (See Map 3)

Map 3

It happened that at this time the University of Manitoba was outgrowing its site on Broadway Avenue near the centre of the city and was seeking an alternative location. In June of 1907, Heubach had offered 150 acres of his Tuxedo land to the University Council as a new site. This was to have been an educational feature of Tuxedo Park and its location is indicated on Outhet’s plan, perhaps because Heubach had written this feature into Outhet’s commission. [14] The offer was to be the centre of many protracted negotiations several .years later but was shelved until after the First World War.

Then in 1910 Heubach formed a newSouth Winnipeg Company, absorbing much of his Tuxedo Park Company and increasing the holdings to about 11,000 acres in total. the new Directors were F. T. Griffin, F. W. Heubach, Maj. Gen. Sir Robert Lane, Stewart Ponsonby and J. Stewart Tupper of Winnipeg, with new British capital of £300,000 about $1,450,000. [15] For reasons which are not apparent, Heubach also changed landscape architects, commissioning the renowned firm of Olmsted Bros. of Brookline, Mass., to plan the subdivisions, streets, neighbourhoods and parks of Tuxedo lying west of the Agricultural College, including details of a new University site. (See Map 4) [16] Claude Heubach had joined his father in 1907 bringing with him his experience as a clerk in the Dominion Bank, then with an insurance company and several years with the real estate firm of Osler, Hammond and Nanton. They were strengthened when David R. Finkelstein joined them in 1911. Finkelstein brought an accounting and administrative background. The firm became Heubach, Finkelstein and Heubach, originators and investors in the Tuxedo Park Company. [17] They opened an office at the corner of Roblin Boulevard and Van Horne (Tuxedo Blvd.) to sell building lots. Claude Heubach and David Finkelstein appear to have been the staff, and by 1911 Heubach’s overall planning for Tuxedo was complete. The inference is clear that his companies at no time were lacking expert guidance for the full development of their Tuxedo property because they had both the Outhet and Olmsted plans before them. With the relocation, however, of the Agricultural College to Fort Garry in 1913 and its subsequent combination with the University in 1926, the new site for the University officially became Fort Garry mainly on economic grounds, and so this desirable feature was lost to Tuxedo. [18] The result was unfortunate, because Tuxedo would not then develop as an academic centre, and its attraction to home owners was diminished. [19] Nevertheless, planning assumed right up to 1926 that the University would be located according to the Olmsted Brothers plans.

Map 4

In 1913, the Tuxedo Park Company incorporated the Town of Tuxedo and F. W. Heubach became its first Mayor, an office which was empowered in the By-Laws with all the executive powers of the corporation. Councillors were F. T. Griffin, A. E. Hoskin, A. E. Choate, and G. H. Kelly. When F. W. Heubach died in June 1914, Finkelstein succeeded him in December as Mayor and save one year (1926) when E. A. Nanton held that office, was the driving force in the Company until 1951, a period which included two World Wars with an economic depression in between. [20] It appears Finkelstein was his junior contemporary and utterly loyal to him and to his development plans. Some idea of his character can be found in James H. Gray’s The Roar of the Twenties p. 298: “Here was a citizen whose business was finance, who had been smart enough to survive the real estate collapse of 1913 and who was still in business as a subdivision developer. Indeed, he was the only important real estate developer still active in 1923.” Claude Heubach remained the Secretary-Treasurer of the Company until 1939 when he moved with his family to Montreal.

The Designers

The Olmsted Plan 3704 of 1910 of Tuxedo became the Winnipeg City Plan 1714 of 1911. This plan has been faithfully followed through the years with only minor changes. Both the Outhet and Olmsted plans located similar University sites, but Olmsted’s Plan 3911 revealed internal details which became of great interest to the University Council and the affiliated Colleges. (See Map 5)

Map 5

The southern limit of the Olmsted plan lay at the ‘Two Mile Road” (Wilkes Ave.) and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway tracks, but south of that lay the bulk of the land the South Winnipeg Company controlled. [21]

The Company planned to develop an area devoted to industry, the first of which was the Canada Cement Company already built, with a nearby village for staff. (See Map 6) Heubach had commissioned the Olmsted Brothers to plan for such a development and it embodied the vital elements of F. L. Olmsted’s town planning philosophy, the proper juxtaposition of the workplace, the home and recreation areas. This was named the “Oak Point Junction” plan, so called because the Canadian Pacific, Canadian Northern, Grand Trunk Pacific, Great Northern and Northern Pacific . Railroads came together at Oak Point Junction, the northeast corner of the property. The City did not encourage the Company to develop it further, perhaps because the extensive industrial area lay outside its taxing area. The plan has yet to be fully implemented. (Also shown in Map 6)

Map 6

A second strictly residential development planned by the Heubach group was known as “Rydal”, which lay west of the University site. This area formed part of what is now known as Charleswood and extended the west boundary of the Company’s land to Lot 31 in St. Charles. Some details of its planning appear on the Hathaway Map of 1911. (See Map 7)

Map 7

To understand the subtle charm of Tuxedo, an appreciation of the landscape architects in necessary. They are not merely gardeners or park designers, as a study of Frederick Law Olmsted’s career shows. An American, Olmsted had become internationally famous as a landscape architect, a profession he pioneered in North America. His apprenticeship ranged from practical but unsuccessful farming, intensive involvement with the Civil War as chief of the Sanitary Commission devoted to the welfare and rehabilitation of the troops (later to become the American Red Cross) and mine management in California, to establishing the first U. S. National Park at Yosemite. In his extensive travels hehad become greatly impressed when he observed how English and European public gardens and parks were enjoyed by ordinary people from all walks of life, especially in the Birkenhead Park near Liverpool. From that first and many other subsequent observations, Olmsted developed a philosophy that recognized the need for ordinary people to have a balance between their dines at home, at their industrial workplaces, and at their recreation which should be, whenever possible, in a rural setting. Hence, a proper town should be planned to provide all three elements within easy distances of the townsfolk. Heubach’s Industrial Village was intended to be an example of this philosophy. It is interesting that F. L. Olmsted had no regular employment until he was 42, but his experiences had sensitized him to realize the European “City Beautiful” movement was a reaction to the intrusion of industry into settled residential areas of long standing. People and forests were simply displaced by factories, and their reaction through their governments was to tame and control industrial expansion through zoning. The development of public parks for human recreation was part of this movement, as amply demonstrated in the famous example of New York’s public Central Park created by Olmsted and Calvert Vaux from “waste land” not required by industry and commerce.

Olmsted approached the problem of town planning as a humanitarian and horticulturalist, and his parks were conceived as necessary parts of the larger community. Montreal’s park on Mount Royal was F. L. Olmsted’s work, and there he was assisted by one of his two sons and Frederick G. Todd, a Montreal landscape architect. In 1904 Todd was commissioned by the City of Winnipeg to build Assiniboine Park, and shortly after, in 1905, F. W. Heubach commissioned Rickson Outhet to plan Tuxedo. These were sound choices, because both Outhet and Todd were landscape architects in the Olmsted tradition who had worked together on Montreal projects. [22]

Because of the common origins of planning Tuxedo and Assiniboine Park, the Town, the proposed University and the Park may be thought of as one.

F. L. Olmsted died in 1903 but his work was continued by his two sons, the Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Mass. (See Appendix A) Their concept of the “Suburb Beautiful” can be seen in the street plan, subdivisions and building restrictions which governed construction in Tuxedo from its first appearance in 1915. Homes were to be spacious, set in appropriate gardens and serviced entirely from a 20-foot rear lane. Lot sizes were uniformly 50 feet by 130 feet set back 50 feet from the town property line. One house only per lot was permitted, to cost a minimum of $10,000. No house could occupy more than 40% of its lot, but there was no restriction on style or number of rooms. Heights were restricted to 60 feet, all factors which challenged owners, builders and architects. [23] These limitations were perpetuated in Bylaw 1800 of Metro Winnipeg in 1971, and have worked to maintain the character of Tuxedo properties. [24]

The Olmsted Brothers plan for Tuxedo included a park which was to be the most ornate design in the country. It was named “Olmsted Park” later changed to “Heubach Park” in memory of F. W. Heubach. It was designed to have “drives, bridal paths, hurdles, a wading pool for children, sand court for youngsters, pergolas, flower beds, ornamental shrubbery and shade trees.” It would be “some 3,000 feet long and 400 feet wide.” The park was constructed and extends southward from Cuthbertson across Grant Avenue on a southern extension of Park Boulevard, but is not yet fully developed. It does, however, provide an attractive open space for the surrounding homes. [25]

Pressure for Winnipeg to expand into its suburbs had greatly diminished at the very time Heubach was ready to accommodate home builders in his “Suburb Beautiful” but he, unfortunately, died in 1914 before any buildings in the subdivision appeared. Nevertheless, the investors continued to support the development of Tuxedo and to take active positions on the Board to protect their interests. [26] This was the Board which elected Finkelstein as Mayor to succeed Heubach. With the advent of the First World War, there was little building being done and literally no tax revenue to set against the operating costs of the town. Extended bank loans and shareholder forbearance bought the vital time necessary for continued development.

The first house was designed and built in 1915 by Raymond M. E. Carey. This young British-trained architect had arrived in Winnipeg in 1909, practiced briefly with John Woodman and met the Heubach family then living on Roslyn Road, where he met his future wife. He had practiced architecture in Detroit and had built some outstanding Georgian homes there. He brought this talent with him to Winnipeg, and built the first home in Tuxedo for his wife and himself at the north corner of Piper (Nanton) and Park Boulevard. [27] This was the first of all the houses to come, and stood facing Assiniboine Park with a mud road leading back through the poplar bush to the front gate of Fort Osborne Barracks. Carey had to pay a price for his pioneering in Tuxedo, as the Town Minutes of 27 April 1918 show. After waiting for two years, he was technically responsible for having a power line erected from the front of the Barracks along Piper Boulevard for his sole use. He needed a sewage pump, light bulbs on the power poles, road improvements of Park Boulevard and Piper, and some help in keeping cows from neighbouring farms from wandering through his property. The next winter, he was isolated by the snow, and needed Piper to be ploughed out. He was emphatic in his complaints but didn’t get the pump. The Careys occupied their home until 1919 when they sold it to E. A. Woodward of Winnipeg who moved to Vancouver in 1924. The house remained unoccupied for a year until it was bought by J. H. McDonald in 1923, whose family were there from 1925 to 1964. [28]

The next few years covered a very quiet building period everywhere, but in 1923, Claude Heubach commissioned Carey and G. W. Northwood to design his home at 203 Park Boulevard, the south corner of Nanton and Park Boulevard.

Further building was carried out in 1925 when Northwood designed a home for W. J. Smith at 111 Park Boulevard. C. W. U. Chivers designed a home for Allan Morrison further south at 215 park Blvd. and Gilbert Parfitt designed Percy paget’s home at 229 Park Blvd., further south again. That same year, the first house built on Hertford Boulevard (now Lamont) was built for E. A. Nanton, one street back from Park.

In 1926, G. C. Griffin built on the river corner of Park and David Finkelstein built three houses on Lamont, designed by Northwood and Chivers, while he and his wife lived quietly in a small home on the University property. This home later became the first golf clubhouse. [29]

In 1927 G. A. Carruthers commissioned Sparrow Brothers to design and build his house at 207 Park Boulevard, and A. E. Cubbidge designed homes for L. J. H. Redmond and Percy J. Rich opposite each other at the river end of Handsart Boulevard. Next to Redmond, J. M. DeCourcey O’Grady commissioned W. C. Wallace to design and build his house. Roderick C. Davison built on the corner of Nanton and Lamont. Campbell J, Harstone built on Lamont, to complete the building that year.

In 1928, Frank Shea built his home on Park Boulevard, designed by J. W. Hawker, and Roy D. Forrester built his on Girton Boulevard.

In 1929, R. D. Guy commissioned W. A. Irish to build his home at 207 Lamont. Dr. J. A. P. Jobin commissioned Parkinson and Halley to design and build his house on Lamont, and Fred B. Wells built his house on Lamont Boulevard. A. H. Macdonald built on Girton Boulevard.

In 1930 a house was constructed for Trevor Roberts on Lamont Boulevard.

In 1931, Norman Edgar White commissioned the Sparrow Brothers of Winnipeg to design and build his home at 202 Handsart Boulevard which he occupied until 1963.

Other house construction also took place and much would follow, but these were twenty-three of the first homes built in Old Tuxedo up to 1931, all within the area bounded by the Barracks, the river, the Park, and Roblin Boulevard. All were gracious individual homes and demonstrated the worth of Heubach’s promotion so firmly established in the concepts of the Olmsted Brothers. Other homes were constructed in the area so that by 1931 the town was attracting home buildersand owners but, again, building was slow indeed, due to the general depression. Despite this, the established policy of development continued unchanged under the devoted administration of David Finkelstein, Claude Heubach and a succession of owner-councillors. (See attached details of other homes and their histories built in the historic period.)

Tuxedo’s school began in 1925 when the children of J. H. McDonald and Claude Heubach met for instruction in Heubach’s home. By the next year a proper four-room schoolhouse had been built on Roblin Boulevard at Van Home (Tuxedo Avenue) where all the new children of the growing town attended classes. The original rooms are in constant use today. This was “P. S. No. 2” which has been enlarged to its present size.

In retrospect, the Olmsted Brothers rose to the challenge when asked by F. W. Heubach to plan both a residential and an industrial town on a relatively featureless area with a river frontage and a four mile depth, before the anticipated pressures of Winnipeg’s urban growth could appear. In finding both Outhet and Olmsted, great credit is to be accorded the vision, foresight and organizing ability of F. W. Heubach himself. In their development planning, Heubach and his associates being splendidly advised from the start, have built a legacy which will endure for generations to come.

Walking Tour

Handsart Boulevard

101 Handsart

Redmond House (1927)

Here we have another Cubbidge design, this time done for L. J. H. Redmond. This has a Tudor flavour, seeming to be an Elizabethan cottage. Mr. Redmond bought the piano company of J. J. H. McLean with three partners. The purchase was financed by the Heintzman firm. He was eventually able to buy out the others and carried on the business. He turned the business over to his son Peter, who recently sold to two long-time employees. For many years the business was on Portage Avenue at Hargrave, diagonally across from Eaton’s in the Time building. In 1954, the company’s distinctive neon sign started a fire which totally consumed the building, jumped to the other side of Hargrave and severely threatened the Eaton’s Store. This was also a disaster for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, who had all their costumes and other belongings destroyed on an upper floor of the Time Building. After the Redmonds, the house was owned by Gordon K. Gage, a Vice President of Peerless Laundry. Another prominent owner in the 1960s was Fred Gaspard, President of Gaspard and Sons.

102 Handsart

Rich House (1927)

The house was designed by Arthur E. Cubbidge and built in 1927 for Percy J. Rich, President of P. J. Rich Grain Company with offices in the Grain Exchange Building. He sold in 1947 to Mark Smerchanski, manager of Eco Exploration Company, diamond drillers.

103 Handsart

O’Grady House

106 Handsart

Wilson House

125 Handsart

Harris House (1928)

This was the home of James M. Harris, grandson of the owner of Canada Packers. As a rung man, Jim came to Winnipeg to work in the company, but he gained fame in the community as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the first western team to win the Grey Cup in 1935. His position of tackle, and the typical fall weather for western games earned him the nickname “Slush.”

126 Handsart

Davison House (1927)

This is another of the early houses. Its first owner was Roderick C. Davison.

131 Handsart

Jobin House

137 Handsart

Smale House

202 Handsart

White House (1931)

It was lean times for builders following the stock market crash in 1929 and in Tuxedo, only one house was built in 1930, and only one the next year. The long-time residents were Norman and Mary Dorothy White. Mr. White was a grain broker. They lived here until 1963. The house has kept its spacious yard. Sparrow Brothers again produced this Norman style with the round tower. The original attached garage is now a study.

206 Handsart

Fraser House (1927)

In 1929 this was the only house south of Nanton (Piper) owned by J. Gordon Fraser, manager of Winnipeg Map and Blueprint Company on Donald Street. In 1929 there were no houses on Grenfell, at that time called Granville Boulevard. While some may have been built in the 1930s, both Grenfell and Chataway were filled in after the Second World War. Incidentally, Chataway was the land surveyor who laid out the streets for the 1911 Tuxedo Plan.

Hosmer Boulevard

301 Hosmer

Donahue House

This house was built by James Donahue, a professor of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. The main floor was built on stilts, putting the windows on a level with the greenery of the surrounding trees.

320 Hosmer

Claude Heubach House

His second Tuxedo home was built here.

Lamont Boulevard

100 Lamont

Burrows House (1930)

This was home in the 1960s to the Burrows family, descendants of T. A. Burrows, a lumber baron of western Canada. Burrows opened up land north of Dauphin, and harvested timber from the slopes of Duck Mountain. He had huge sawmill operations at Grandview and then at Bowsman. The family continued in the Burrows Lumber Company. This house reflects the Spanish influence popular between the wars, sometimes referred to as Spanish Colonial Revival.

110 Lamont

Parkhill House (1937)

Roy Hamilton Parkhill (?-1971, son of John Hamilton Parkhill), the first owner of this house, was President of Parkhill Bedding, a firm that made springs, mattresses, and upholstered furniture.

120 Lamont

Wells House

207 Lamont

Guy House

210 Lamont

May House

211 Lamont

Finkelstein House

217 Lamont

Foote House (1926)

This house was designed by Northwood and Chivers. Its first owner was G. W. Foote, Manager of the Winnipeg Electric Company.

220 Lamont

Nanton House (1925)

The sons of the local aristocracy are well represented in Tuxedo. The original owner of this home was Edward A. Nanton, a son of Sir Augustus Nanton whose estate, Kilmorie, was at the west end of Roslyn Road. The younger Nanton worked in the family business, Osler Hammond and Nanton, investment dealers, along with mortgages and insurance.

221 Lamont

Roberts House

225 Lamont

McKellar House

229 Lamont

Harstone House

Nanton Boulevard

39 Nanton

Breen House

Park Boulevard

101 Park

Griffin House

107 Park

Osler House

111 Park

Smith House

115 Park

Shea House

121 Park

Carey House

203 Park

Heubach House

207 Park

Carruthers House

215 Park

Morrison House

221 Park

Powell House

229 Park

Paget House

The original owner of this house, built in 1925, was A. Percy Paget, and he occupied it until 1939. Paget was the Recorder of Vital Statistics for the Province. In 1925, this house was estimated to cost $10,000. It was designed by architect Gilbert Parfitt. Parfitt was born in England and trained there. He came to Winnipeg in 1912, landed a steady job and never resumed his travels. From 1913 to 1920 he was a draftsman in the Provincial Architect’s office. Three years later he was designing buildings as an architect and was overseeing numerous buildings throughout the Province. By the mid 1920s, Parfitt was considered de facto Superintendent of Public Buildings and as such, had input in all provincially owned buildings. He also acted as consultant to A. A. Stoughton in the 1932 design of the new University of Manitoba Buildings (Tier and Buller) in Fort Garry. He was confirmed as Building Superintendent in 1933 and as Provincial Architect from 1947 until he retired in 1956. He also designed the Cenotaph, the Central Provincial Garage which was demolished in the winter of 1990-1991, St. John’s Cathedral, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, and St. Patrick’s Anglican Church.

235 Park

Swartz House

This modern house by architect Jack Ross dating from 1958 completed the building of Park Boulevard. It was built for Dr. David Swartz and his wife Dawn O’Brien, a pianist. The Swartz’s hosted many celebrated musicians who were visiting the city for performances for the Winnipeg Symphony and the Women’s Musical Club.

By now, we have seen a number of house styles, which are common to the area. Tudor Revival is perhaps the most common, being adaptable to various roof lines and interesting detail. One source credits the rebuilding of Liberty’s Store in London in 1924 for the ressurgence of interest in this style. It was found, however, in homes built in Crescentwood in the years 1906 to 1912 and never really lost its popularity in Winnipeg. The round Norman Tower was used by several architects to convey the atmosphere of substance. The Spanish influence will be seen in arched windows, grilled vents, and wrought iron, giving a Mediterranian feeling of something slightly exotic. This style appears on Wellington Crescent in River Heights and at the Uptown (Theatre) Bowling Alley. The Georgian colonial style of white with green shutters, having a balanced window placeing, was more frequently used after the Second World War. To the traditionalist, it had a clean, uncluttered look that the post­war era preferred while still harking back to historic origins. There are few modern international style houses in Tuxedo, 1 Nanton Boulevard, which was the home Clive Tallin, the last mayor of the town. Another is the Donahue house on Hosmer. For sheer elegance, you cannot surpass the original home built by Raymond Carey at 121 Park Boulevard. The nice detail and proportions are very pleasing and yet impressive. They make Tuxedo architecture unique in Winnipeg.

Appendix A

It is of interest to find that the planning of Tuxedo was not the only project in which the Olmsted Brothers were involved in Winnipeg, as made evident by the following list:

Winnipeg Public Parks Board: Plan 2969, Olmsted Park (Heubach Park) Plan 4020, 1910 City and Regional Planning and Improvements: Tuxedo Town Plan, Plan 6286, Heubach’s Industrial Village Plan 4096 1911; Winnipeg City Planning Plan 6311 Subdivisions and Suburban Communities: Heubach, F. W. Ltd. Plan 3704 Colleges and School Campuses: University of Manitoba plan 3911, 1910-12, Manitoba Agricultural College Plan 5063, University of Winnipeg Plan 5836

Private Estates and Homesteads: Doupe, J. Lonsdale Plan 3819, 1909, Glines, Geo. A. Plan 3955, Byerley, Ralph Reed Plan 5057, Jukes, H. A. Plan 5856 Country Clubs, resorts, hotels and Clubs: Manitoba Club Plan 3757, Manitoba Hunt club Plan 5820, 1913

Exhibitions and Fairs: Winnipeg Exposition Plan 5175, Canadian Industrial Exhibition Association Plan 5761, 1912-15

This is a total of 15 projects in Winnipeg, undertaken by this famous firm of landscape architects, between the years of 1909 and 1915. The list is taken from the Master List of Design projects of the Olmsted Firm 1857-1950, published by the National Association for Olmsted Parks, Boston Mass. 1987.


1. “Tuxedo” Planning Division, City of Winnipeg 1970

2. Prior to the development and subdivision of Tuxedo, the Province had purchased 117 acres of land just west of the City boundary on the south bank of the Assiniboine river for a Provincial agriculture college. They paid $15,000 for Lots 3 and 4 in St. Charles and, in 1904, voted $100,000 for the necessary buildings. Five of those buildings are standing today and four have been designated for preservation when the site in developed for residential purposes.

3. See Vince Leah writing “Our City’s Heritage” in the Winnipeg Free Press Weekly, 28 June 1989.

4. Schock, Gunther, History of Assiniboine Park p. 2.

5. See the “Beaver” of the Hudson’s Bay Company Vol. 67:6, December/January 1988. The opening pages of this article by S. A. Smith may indicate that the foundation of Heubach’s knowledge of land values and real estate possibilities may well have been laid in his association with Brydges and his work. Heubach was his private secretary and presumably well acquainted with real estate sales and development and their possibilities in Winnipeg.

6. Frederick William Heubach Obituary, 2 July 1914, PAM B4 p. 178

7. Henderson’s Directory, Winnipeg 1905

8. Henderson’s Directory, Winnipeg, 1905 p. 100 and the Manitoba Free Press advertisements of the day. PAM M2

9. “Tuxedo Park” PAM Rare Book Collection F.5649 .w55 Tux which is one of the very scarce copies of promotional literature of the day.

10. City of Winnipeg Plan 1374 November 1907, approved and signed “F. W. Heubach, Managing Director of Tuxedo Park Company.”

11. PAC 641.11 gbbe Series A20 “St. Charles and Headingly” Lots 1-39 This property appeared on the Dominion Land Survey of January 1875 under the title “Plan of river Lots in the Parishes of St. Charles and St. Boniface”. The next survey in 1877 was entitled “Plan of Lots in Outer Two Miles” (i.e. south of Wilkes Avenue) Parishes of St. Charles and St. Boniface, Dept. of Interior, Donimion Lands Branch, Ottawa, 1 July 1877, which records the Lot numbers and owner’s names, reference: PAC H9 614.11 gbbe Series 1 A18.

12. Searching these titles showed these purchases straddled the period when Manitoba changed its system of land registration from one of Deed to one of Certificate, i.e. to the Torrens system, by passing the real Property Act in 1908.

13. See also City of Winnipeg Plan 1374 which corresponds to Outhet’s plan.

14. Just how Heubach had come to appreciate the value of siting the University in Tuxedo is a mystery, but it may have come about because evidently he had studied the development of Tuxedo thoroughly, and may have been advised by landscape architects of the Olmsted tradition. Note that the offer was made in 1907 but Outhet’s plan is dated 1905.

15. This British group managed to sustain its interest over the years, maintaining its rights to the small triangle of land bounded by Tuxedo Avenue, Roblin Boulevard and Edgeland Boulevard which was zoned for three apartment blocks and a shopping centre. Its investment was held for little return when it is considered the costs of improvements were incurred in the early development years.

16. F. L. Olmsted, founder of the firm, thought the ideal university site was one surrounded by the homes of the scholars and student residences which together would constitute an academic community. Those thoughts had governed his planning of the California college at Berkeley on San Francisco Bay many years before. His sons clearly planned to apply the same principle to the Tuxedo site of the University of Manitoba.

17. Who’s Who in Western Canada Vol. 1, 1911 p. 175, and James H. Gray, The Roar of the Twenties, MacMillan, Toronto 1975.

18. See W. L. Morton, One University, pp. 134-137 and PAM MG 10 B8, and PAM “University File 1918-26” Isaac Pitblado’s “History and Present Position of the University Site Question” of 1926.

19. Stevenson, Elizabeth, Parkmaker: A Live of F. L. O. p. 268.

20. David R. Finkelstein had been born in Poland in 1880, educated in the Winnipeg Collegiate Institute and Manitoba College. He commenced his real estate career in 1901 and pursued a notable athletic career of curling, lacrosse and football. Heubach himself had earned a reputation as a fine athlete and sportsman too.

21. See “A Model Manufacturing Community Adjoining Winnipeg” PAM “The Dominion”, III April 1912, pp. 129-133 and Olmsted Bros. Plan 4096, December, 1910

22. Some idea of the depth of that tradition is seen when it is appreciated that F. L. Olmsted and his sons have been responsible for planning some 5,500 projects during their existence, among which were 15 projects for Winnipeg. (See Appendix A)

23. “One of the earliest Town Planning schemes in Canada was introduced in 1925 to protect the residential nature of the town by determining standards for buildings and sites.” - “Tuxedo” Metro Corp. of Greater Winnipeg, Planning Division.

24. Building specifications from “The Dominion” Vol. 1, Oct. 1910 p.22

25. Description of Olmsted Park in “The Dominion” Vol. 1, Oct. 1910 p. 20.

26. From Minute Book, 13 April, 1914 et seq.

27. See Perry W. Hawkins, The Building of Detroit: A History, Detroit, Michigan, Wayne State University Press 1968. This abstract throws much light on Carey’s professional abilities. ‘The preeminence of Carey’s work owes much to the care with which he executed details.”

28. In 1914 Woodward made a substantial contribution to Tuxedo in his purchase of the entire issue of debentures for the first school, $9,000 at 7% for 20 years. Its construction at Tuxedo Avenue and Roblin was deferred until 1923, opening its doors in 1926. (5 Sept. Bylaw 96 of the Town of Tuxedo per Gazette Vol. XLVIII, 1914, School District of Tuxedo p. 1088.)

29. Interview with Kellet Holden, 7 May 1991. Holden built his home on Chataway Boulevard, and served as a Town councillor from 1949 to 1961.


This tour was prepared in May 1991 by the Tour Committee of the Manitoba Historical Society. Research and writing was done by Ian McDonald and Rosemary Malaher. In charge of publicity and volunteers were Elizabeth Fleming and Patricia Forsythe. Also thanks to Philip Haese, David Firman, William D. Guy, David Malaher, CSB Systems Ltd., Savin Winnipeg Typewriters, and several former residents of Tuxedo for the stories of their houses. We are also grateful for invaluable assistance from:

Canadian Centre of Architecture, Montreal for information about R.A. Outhet from Renata Guttman, Curator, who also furnished title sheets for Outhet’s publications.

City of Winnipeg Giles Bugailiskis and the Historic Buildings Section, who produced data and records pertinent to Tuxedo, and directed attention to the City Archives, William Avenue, and the Curator Mary Jambor who presented the Minute Books and Bylaws of the Town of Tuxedo for examination. Also, for directing attention to the early (c. 1929 air photographs of Tuxedo filed in the Map Section.

Kellet and Marion Holden of Winnipeg formerly of Chataway Boulevard from 1946 to 1961 and councilman of the Town, for their observations of the people and develpments there.

Legislative Library and staff for assistance in finding the relevant publications and records of newspapers and Henderson’s Directory which were indespensible in tracing the movements and activities of the people central to the story of Tuxedo.

National Association of Olmsted Parks Phyllis Knowles, Administrator, Boston, Massachusetts, advising of the location and status of the Olmsted Papers which are in a special collection in the Congressional Library, Washington, DC.

Glen Olmstead, Brandon, Manitoba who directed attention to J. W. “Bill” Olmstead of 18 Wedgewood, Fort Garry, Manitoba, Secretary and publisher of the Olmsted family journal through whom contact was established with the National Association of Olmsted Parks, Boston.

Stephen J. Pask unpublished thesis “Myth, Men and Money - Tuxedo Park Company”, University of Manitoba, 1981, in which are described the external circumstances which prevailed when Heubach and his associated were developing Tuxedo.

Jean (Heubach) Peck for her letter shortly before she died in Montreal, advising there were no more Caret’s, that she was the last of the Heubachs of Tuxedo, and that she know of no existing private papers.

F. C. Pickwell, “Tuxedo Park, Winnipeg.” in “Construction” XIX, September, 1926 pp. 290-294.

Provincial Archives of Manitoba (PAM staff) particularly Chris Kotecki for much assistance in finding files pertinent to research on Tuxedo and the University of Manitoba project of 1907, and to Ken Reddig of the Map Room, for furnishing the early maps of the Tuxedo area: Fidler’s Plan Red River Settlement, 1816, north of the Assiniboine River. 2) Red River and Assiniboine in 1836. 3) Plan of Red river Colony, HBC 1836-7-8, survey lots 928-969. 4) Plan of River Lots in the Parishes of St. Charles and St. Boniface Dominion Land Survey Ottawa, 1875. (National Archives of Canada 614.4 gbbe Series 1 #20) St. Charles and Headingly Lots 1 - 39 5) Plan of Lots in “Outer two Miles” Parishes of St. Charles and St. Boniface. (Dept. of Interior, Dominion Lands Branch, Ottawa, 1 July 1877 surveyed Winnipeg 1874) (PAC H9 614.11 gbbe series 1 #18 St. Charles and St. Boniface OTM South)

University of Manitoba Architecture Library for much staff assistance in finding Olmsted background.

University of Montreal for information from Professor Peter Jacobs about R. A. Outhet and F. G. Todd and their collaboration on the Montreal project ‘The Point” about the turn of the century, and about Todd’s work on Mount Royal Park in Montreal and Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg.

University of Montreal, Centre of Documentation Archives, and Dennis Pelletier, Secretary, who aided in the search for Outhet (Collection Baby).


Gerald Friesen, The Canadian Prairies, University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1984.

W. L. Morton, Manitoba: A History, University of Toronto Press, Toronto 1957.

W. L. Morton, One University: A History of the University of Manitoba, McClelland and Stewart, London 1957.

Gunther Schock, Assiniboine Park - History and Development, City of Winnipeg, Metro Parks and Recreation, December 1982.

Elizabeth Stevenson, Park Maker - A Life of Frederick Law Olmsted, MacMillan, New York, 1922.

Virginia (Guy) Stikeman, The Girl from Yale Avenue, private publication describing her first days in Tuxedo, and for making possible the finding of Jean Peck.

John Emerson Todd, Frederick Law Olmsted. Twayne Publishers, Boston 1982.

Jill Wade, A Bibliography of Manitoba Architecture to 1940, University of Manitoba Press, Winnipeg 1976.

Page revised: 24 February 2024