Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Balston C. Kenway (1844-1909)


Born in England, he emigrated to Canada and was working as a civil engineer by 1871, but soon switched to architectural work. He moved to the United States in 1875 and worked at Minneapolis, Minnesota. In early 1878, he came to Winnipeg and designed many buildings before and during the land boom of 1881-1882, either alone or in partnership with Robert McNicol. From 1882 to 1888, he worked as an architect, contractor, and lumber dealer. His office was severely damaged in a fire in 1886.

His wife Nellie Louise Kenway died in May 1885 at the age of 35 years and was buried in the Stony Mountain Cemetery. He left Winnipeg to take a position as supervising architect with the federal Department of Public Works at Lethbridge, NWT (now Alberta). By 1889, he was in Vancouver as a supervising architect for the provincial government. He moved to Tacoma, Washington in 1892 then to Seattle in 1899. He worked in various businesses there then returned to Tacoma, where he died on 6 November 1909.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:





Radiger Block

Main Street near Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg



Morris Block

Main Street near Portage Avenue, Winnipeg


Demolished (1975)

J. S. Dennis Residence

Hargrave Street, Winnipeg



St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral

353 St. Mary Avenue, Winnipeg



St. Boniface College

rue de la Cathedrale, St. Boniface


Destroyed by fire (1922)

Hudson’s Bay Company Store

Main Street at York Avenue, Winnipeg


Demolished (1930)

Bank of Montreal Building

346 Main Street, Winnipeg


Demolished (1973)

Manitoba Club Building

Garry Street, Winnipeg


Demolished (?)

H. M. Howell Residence

Carlton Street, Winnipeg



J. S. Lynch Residence

Garry Street, Winnipeg



McMicken Block

Main Street, Winnipeg



Knox Presbyterian Church

Portage Avenue at Fort Street


Demolished (?)


Death registration [Nellie Louise Kenway], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.

We thank Lise Markus for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 January 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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