Historic Sites of Manitoba: Government House (10 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg)
The first building known as Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, was occupied by Louis Riel as President of the Provisional Government of Red River in 1869-1870. In 1870, Manitoba’s first Lieutenant-Governor, Adams George Archibald, chose as Government House the residence of the last Governor of Rupert’s Land, owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company and located in Upper Fort Garry. The Fort Garry residence remained Government House until it was replaced by the present structure.
Government House, situated at 10 Kennedy Street adjacent to the Legislative Building, was constructed by local builder Joseph Edmond Gelley under the supervision of architect David Smith starting in September 1882. It was completed in under a year. James Cox Aikins was the first Lieutenant-Governor to take up residence, in September 1883. It was transferred to Manitoba’s jurisdiction in 1885, symbolizing the completion of Manitoba’s parliamentary political structure.
The building has undergone extensive renovations through the years, with additions made in the early years successively replaced by an assembly room on the north side where public receptions are held (1961, designed by provincial architect Basil Roy McPherson) and on the south side a garage and greenhouse (1963). It is one of only three Government Houses across Canada that has been used continuously as a residence since its construction, the other two being in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
In 2002, Government House received a Conservation Award from Heritage Winnipeg.
A plaque beside Government House commemorates the planting of a sugar maple tree on 4 September 2012 at a ceremony attended by Premier Greg Selinger, the Right Honourable James Hamilton (Lord Selkirk of Douglas), and descendants of the Selkirk Settlers. It was planted for the bicentenary of the arrival of the Selkirk Settlers in the area that would become Manitoba.
Photos & Coordinates
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 3 September 2023